Why Cybersecurity Education is Important For Everyone

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Professional Education In Cybersecurity Is Important For Everyone – Not Just Techies

Today, we're thrilled to welcome guest contributor, Joseph Steinberg, renowned adviser and thought leader in cybersecurity and emerging technologies.

Joseph Steinberg

It is not a secret that technology advances rapidly, and that with its advances come major societal changes. Many such developments are primarily positive – technology can help improve people’s professional productivity and quality of personal life – but, at the same time, technological breakthroughs nearly always create substantial cybersecurity issues as well.

Likewise, the world of cybersecurity undergoes constant change as a result of geopolitical and economic shifts that regularly establish and empower new groups of people, organizations, and governments with both the capability and incentives to launch cyberattacks against others.

As a result of the constantly-changing nature of the world of cybersecurity, even the best college degrees in the field must be supplemented by continuing education. In our era, professional success is heavily dependent on having current skills – and while college degrees do provide excellent material upon which to build, they obviously cannot perpetually keep folks current post-graduation.

Professional education courses, therefore, fill a key role when it comes to cybersecurity; in fact, every major information-security certification body requires its credential holders to undergo substantial amounts of continuing professional education in order to retain relevant certifications.

But, the need for continuing one’s education in the realm of cybersecurity is not limited to just cybersecurity professionals; businesspeople of all types need to understand what cyber-threats they are likely to face, and how to protect themselves from falling prey to various common forms of social-engineering and technical attacks. Failure to stay current on such matters can be professionally devastating; years spent building a professional reputation can easily be undermined in seconds by a single act that leads to a major breach or financial loss for one’s employer. And, while general businesspeople do not need to be technical experts, or to comprehend the intricate details of cybersecurity countermeasure deployment and configuration, they should understand major cybersecurity concepts, and how various components of a cybersecurity program function; such knowledge is increasingly important to staying relevant in many major industries of our skills-based economy. Not only does possessing such knowledge reduce the odds of someone inadvertently endangering the information security of his or her employer, but, it also allows for better interfacing with technology groups, and facilitates increasingly productive collaboration with information technology departments when working together on various types of business projects.

Social engineering attacks, for example, often target non-technical workers within an organization; employees who are aware of the various flavors of such attacks, understand what various forms of social engineering entail, and know how to spot dangerous communications, are far more likely than their counterparts to successfully fend off such attacks, and, thereby, better protect corporate financial resources and sensitive data.

Likewise, workers who understand the reasons for various security requirements demanded by the information technology and information security departments during software development efforts are more likely than others to be able to negotiate arrangements that maximally satisfy both business and cybersecurity requirements.

But, continuing education provides beyond addressing tactical issues; understanding significant new approaches and practical ideas posed by industry experts can be highly beneficial – sometimes novel thinking so rapidly supplants older ideas that a failure to grasp the former can relegate a former star into a professional “dead end situation.” Of course, continuing one’s professional education can not only help people avoid such a fate, it can make them shine and advance in their careers.

In fact, in many cases, the applicable knowledge garnered from professional education courses can make an employee increasingly valuable to both his/her current employer, and to potential suitors from other firms. This phenomenon is unquestionably true when it comes to cybersecurity – there is a global shortage of people with current, practical cybersecurity skills, and folks who have them often can command highly desirable compensation packages. And even people who don’t work in the cybersecurity field (at least officially) can increase their worth to their employers by gaining sufficient cybersecurity knowledge so as to make them more effective at interfacing with security teams and/or working at cybersecurity firms, as well as reducing the risk of their making costly human errors that lead to data breaches.

EmergingEd offers a series of robust, yet simple to comprehend, cybersecurity courses designed for various audiences, ranging from non-technical managers to cybersecurity techies. For more information, please visit www.emerginged.com

Joseph Steinberg isone of the leading professionals in the fields of cybersecurity and emerging technologies. You can find more of him at www.josephsteinberg.com.

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