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What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity (sometimes spelled “cyber security”) is the use of technology, coordinated processes, internal controls and defense systems to protect systems, networks, programs, devices and data from cyber attacks and breaches. Cybersecurity is an ongoing process with new trends and developments every day. The field incorporates a number of simultaneous processes to ensure protection, including identifying vulnerabilities, monitoring systems and responding to incidents such as a breach. Enterprise cybersecurity is often managed by dedicated cybersecurity experts or internal/external IT teams.


What are the five types of cybersecurity?

The five types of cybersecurity are critical infrastructure security, network security, cloud security, IoT security and application security.

The five primary types of cybersecurity are categorized by the types of technology they protect and include:

  • Critical infrastructure cybersecurity: The security of all systems that the general public rely on to function, including the electrical grid, traffic lights, hospitals and other forms of critical infrastructure.
  • Network security: The protection of computer networks from targeted attacks and malware on either an organizational or individual level.
  • Cloud security: The protection of all data, applications and infrastructure that may be stored in a cloud environment, particularly in regards to the infrastructure of the actual cloud environment like virtual machines and virtual networks.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) security: Refers to the connection of Internet of Things networks, as well as all connected smart devices, such as appliances, sensors, routers and printers
  • Application security: Refers to security measures taken to ensure that applications released or in use by companies do not contain vulnerabilities that may lead to malicious cyber attacks.


Is cybersecurity a good career?

Cybersecurity is often managed by dedicated cybersecurity experts or internal/external IT teams and offers exceptional career growth.

Nearly every company in existence relies on some form of internet connectivity, data, connected devices and networking, making cybersecurity careers plentiful in nearly any industry.

Though there may be elements of industry-related stress, cybersecurity roles still have favorable reviews. For example, 71 percent of respondents reported job satisfaction in their cybersecurity job, with 36 percent claiming they were very satisfied, according to a ISC2 survey. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 2020 median pay for an information security analysts to be $103,590 per year, requiring less than five years of experience to earn.


How do I train for cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity roles usually require a bachelor’s degree, cybersecurity knowledge or previous IT job experience.

To land a role within a cybersecurity field, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, networking, network security or a similar field is usually required, as well as some field experience. Experience can be easily obtained through an entry-level information technology (IT) role, such as working as a systems administrator, database administrator, web administrator, web developer, network administrator, IT technician, systems engineer or computer software engineer.

Obtaining expert-level skills and in-demand cybersecurity certifications is also a meaningful way of both entering the profession and fast-tracking career advancement. 

Four popular cybersecurity roles to work towards include security architect, security consultant, penetration tester/ethical hacker and chief information security officer (CISO.)


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