A lock with computer codes

What is Cyber Security?

As the Internet has evolved, so have the number of threats to users' information. The threats range from those that are merely nuisances to ones that are potentially life threatening. Additionally, the attack tools and methods have become far more sophisticated in recent years. Attackers are more motivated and more knowledgeable than ever. 

What Cyber Security Professional Do

The field of cyber security revolves around the efforts of the world's organizations to employ the fundamental principles and best practices needed to protect their enterprises from cybercriminals. Factors in cyber security include ethics and law as well as the means of eliminating vulnerabilities in information systems. Additionally, cyber security professionals have knowledge of how to analyze and respond to security breaches. Cyber security professionals’ tasks include:

  • Installing software to protect their organization's information infrastructure
  • Simulating attacks on systems in order to find and patch vulnerabilities
  • Planning and implement the security policies of their organization
  • Researching trends in cyber security


In 2012, the median annual salary of a cyber security professional was just over $86,000. 

Career Outlook

Despite the fact that the threats are well known, many organizations have failed to implement protect adequate protections for confidential information. Recent years have seen many of the world's largest corporations, like Target and Sony, fall victim to cyber crime. As the threats continue to multiply, cyber security professionals should see a boom in employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that their employment will grow by 37% in the years between 2012 and 2022. 

Cyber Security and Technology Trends

The increased use of mobile devices and cloud computing has altered the landscape and presented a new set of threats. One recent study from the University of California showed that the three major mobile operating systems (Windows, Android and iOS) are all far less secure than previously thought. The movement of information to remote servers is another important trend. The federal government has adopted a “cloud first policy” and healthcare organizations are moving to electronic medical records. All of this data will need to be safeguarded by trained personnel. 

Despite the many benefits that the Internet provides, it has become clear that the threats presented by cyber crime and cyber terrorism are very real and stand to affect both individuals and organizations. The work of cyber security professionals is therefore essential for a functioning society. 

Last Updated: June 26, 2017