Advances in technology and globalization have created an interconnected world that needs to be safeguarded against malicious actors. The cybersecurity market, which reached $80 billion in 2017, is expected to grow to $110 billion by 2020. New lucrative job titles are being spawned in this growing field. For instance, Information Security Analysts – earning salaries of more than $95,000 – are expected to grow at an annual rate of 28% through 2026. This massive growth is prompted by a need to secure personal, corporate, and governmental spheres of our lives.
Securing Personal and Business Data
According to the Washington Post, every year $665 billion are stolen through identity theft and credit card fraud. Between Jan. 1, 2017, and March 20, 2018 there were 1.9 billion records containing personal and other sensitive data that had been compromised. Hackers target businesses to steal credit cards, bank accounts, and employees’ identities. Others steal corporate intellectual property such as designs, plans, and code. Cybersecurity professionals in corporations are working around the clock to protect personal and business data – and keep a level playing field for individuals and corporations.
Defending the Homeland
In 2015, over seventy seven thousand cybersecurity incidents were reported by federal agencies in the United States. The government cybersecurity experts defend against attackers who want to steal military secrets and strategies to gain competitive advantage on the geo-political front.
Protecting Critical Infrastructure
Imagine what might happen if software hackers infiltrate and shut down dams, power plants, chemical plants, airports, and public health facilities. Our lives would literally come to a halt and the normal functioning of society would come to an end. Teams of cybersecurity specialists work to keep our critical infrastructure safe against such threats.
Preventing Political Influence
As recent elections have shown, governments are perpetually trying to influence elections in foreign countries for ideological, political and economic reasons. They are exploiting security weaknesses in the software infrastructure of political parties to uncover and auction their strategies and plans. State and federal governments are investing large sums of money in cybersecurity projects to prevent such influence.
The worldwide demand for professionally trained Cybersecurity professionals is expected to outpace the supply by more than 1.5 million positions. To meet this growing demand, William Woods University has recently added an Online BS in Cybersecurity to its portfolio of STEM degree offerings.