Are you considered a netizen already? You probably are. With at least one social media account, the usage of online communications, and going about everyday life through means found on the ‘Net like online entertainment and shopping, you are one of the gazillions of people who have perched on this wireless world only found online. But as citizens are responsible to their countries, so are netizens like you.
As celebrations for National Cybersecurity Month are underway, it’s just fitting that we delve into the past and present of cybersecurity. For the past, let’s look back at the history of cybersecurity and pay homage to its vast development. Let’s also list how cybersecurity is upheld in the current era and why employers and professionals should look into hiring or applying for cybersecurity jobs to uphold its integrity for many years.
Cybersecurity’s Past: What Was It Like Before the Internet Boomed?
The US Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET, was the first working prototype of what we know now as the Internet. This was during the 1960s, and there was growing concern over the number of people accessing and using the system. In 1971, Bob Thomas created a program called Creeper that could move across the network. Creeper is the first known computer “trojan” that can transfer from one computer to another.
On the other hand, Ray Tomlinson, who invented email, created a program that was named Reaper. It was capable of going after Creepers and eliminating them for good. This is probably the first known instance of a computer “antivirus,” although Thomas’ Creeper isn’t known to be harmful at all.
It was 1987 when a boom of commercially-accessible antivirus programs was made available. Andreas Luning and Kai Figge released the Ultimate Antivirus Killer, a malware eliminator particularly created for the Atari ST, a line of computers famous during that time. John McAfee also founded McAfee and made available to everyone the VirusScan software.
As the Internet grew in size and usage, so did opportunities for the criminal-minded to use online means to procure money and sensitive information illegally. Notorious organizations even funded cybersecurity attacks, so governments and other concerned parties had to counteract. In this post-pandemic era, when information and services are stored online, the need for stringent security monitoring is critical for any company or individual.
Cybersecurity Today: What Are New and Current Means to Stay Safe Online?
This should be a recognizable pattern by now: governments and netizens will do their best to build walls against information breaches and other cyber-attacks, but malicious-minded individuals will continue to do their best to circumnavigate cybersecurity hurdles to do evil. However, as criminals get smarter and quicker, so do cybersecurity personnel.
Besides constant malware checks and firewalls, here are other means the informed netizen is using to stay protected:
Multi-factor authentication. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security arm of the US Department of Homeland Security has labeled single-factor authorization as one of the worst means to stay cyber safe. With the combination of a password, email address, and phone number, cybercriminals will find it hard to infiltrate your user accounts through multi-factor authentication (MFA), be it in social media or apps that store sensitive information.
Employers owe it to their applicants and potential hires on file to keep their personal information safe. Particularly for those who sent in their resumes online containing their contact details, MFA can be used to safeguard personal info. Those logging in to job post websites might also need to adhere to MFA, whether they are looking to hire or apply for jobs.
Zero-trust architecture. Many companies, like staffing agencies, handle outside contacts, such as clients availing of recruitment services or applicants wanting to get a job. On the other hand, job hunters receive many invitations for interviews or job openings at their institutions. Thus, exposure to various means to connect online makes one susceptible to those pretending to have actual business with you.
Zero-trust architecture basically is the idea of treating all outside entities with skepticism and added security measures. Even if somebody has been in contact with you for a long time, the fact that they are still outsiders puts them at a heightened alarm.
Through zero-trust architecture, checkpoints from all possible online entries and additional steps for scanning within the system commence for outsiders. As a security measure, zero-trust architecture works. Those who enjoy it boast benefits, such as simplified security stacks and lowered spending on cyber security.
Cloud backup. A separate copy of your company’s or personal files is needed in case malware or hackers go through your networks and trample on whatever data you have. In some cases, some hackers might even hold your data as ransom. The best way to avoid having to go through such security breaches is to have your own cloud backup service.
Free cloud services, such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, permit you to sync your computers to cloud storage. But there are paid-for cloud backup services that will not only give you ample cloud storage space but will also monitor security round the clock.
Cybersecurity’s Future: What Jobs Will Be Present?
Employers and professionals are responsible for keeping their online presence clear from any cybersecurity attack. But for those interested in having a career in cybersecurity, you are on the right pathway. Keeping the online realm safe will continue in the future as long as the world is dependent on the Internet. Recruiters and other companies can also help by employing skilled workers in the IT field, particularly in cybersecurity.
Here are only a few emerging roles that comprise a whole new slate of cybersecurity professionals one can either become or employ:
Malware Analyst. Since malware develops through extensive trial and research on the side of cyber terrorists, you’ll need someone just as passionate about doing the opposite. Malware analysts will also devote time and thinking power to devise solutions to stop new and improved malware even before they wreak havoc. A malware analyst needs to be well informed about developments in cybersecurity to do a fine job.
Security Architect. A security architect is in charge of the physical and online infrastructure that will aid in strengthening the organization’s defense against malware and hacking. Physical architecture may come in the form of backup storage and power sources, as some malware attacks can also power outages. Online infrastructure that security architects manage includes security checkpoints, firewalls, and identify checkers for third-party access.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The CISO is responsible for the overall management of cybersecurity for any organization. Their foremost task is to prepare an information security and risk management program encompassing interactions in and out of the company. Aside from a good amount of IT know-how and experience, CISOs need great communication skills as well, as they will contact people in and out of the company.
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Happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month! It’s always an uphill climb when it comes to safeguarding your online presence. Some cybersecurity awareness training might be helpful for you in the future in the potential roles you’ll undertake or when new employees have arrived in your company. Always remember how AI is changing cybersecurity, among other factors. You should stay focused and ride on these changes as well.
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