All levels of society are increasingly dependent on Internet-connected computer systems and shared information. With that connectivity comes many risks. Cybersecurity seeks to protect networks from intentional or accidental harm. Digital assaults are rising. 2015 saw a series of high-profile cybersecurity attacks, beginning with infiltrating the health agency, Anthem, where 80 million social security records were stolen, and concluding with hackers accessing major hotel chains Starwood, Hilton and Hyatt.
Cybersecurity analysts predict increased attacks, making cybersecurity one of the most important areas in Information Technology. Major political periods, like the United States presidential election, find an increase in hacks.
Social Malware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and Insider Threats are growing security concerns. Sham sites pretending to offer services that retrieve information and attacks within social media sites like SnapChat and Facebook have increased the sophistication of their approach and attacks. The rise of DDoS strikes has been extensively covered by the media; hackers are attacking small and large businesses as well as banks and governments.
Information security departments must observe the behavior of employees. Whether by intentionally sharing information or by doing so accidentally, employees can put an organization’s information at risk. Machines now exist that identify what is normal and abnormal behavior within a network, allowing them to identify in-progress cyber attacks. This is a major innovation, which helps security officers discover, and respond sooner to, unusual behavior.
Cyber threats will likely shift to phones as more people start using Apple Pay and Google Pay,. Information security will mean working with computer systems and all the personal devices that are now prevalent.
With such issues on the rise, information security is drawing the attention of corporate boards. The Computer Information Security Officer is a new and important addition to corporate management. In the past, the Corporate Security Officer reported to the Corporate Information Officer, since security was perceived as a branch of information. Increasingly, cybersecurity is not simply the purview of the IT department but also the concern of the corporate board, with the CISO or CSO holding a place at the table.
At NEIT, students are encouraged to learn more through the graduate level course in Information Systems Security to help them become knowledgeable about this increasingly important IT field. This key course covers risk management, security planning and incident response. Many other courses incorporate aspects of cybersecurity when addressing such topics as cloud computing and user interface design.
This high level of preparation allows graduates to pursue leadership positions such as Chief Information Security Officer. With a global reputation, NEIT offers students the chance to become IT leaders by pursuing an MSIT.
Learn more about NEIT’s program here.