Author: Janessa Palmieri, B.S. Student Cyber Operations

Everyone needs cybersecurity. From a family household to a small business to a large corporation, all need cybersecurity. Even hospitals, banks, schools, and local to federal governments need cybersecurity. Here’s why: everyone has Personally Identifiable Information or PII. PII includes names, email addresses, bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc. which all leads to the most valuable thing on the planet: money. If a hacker accesses patient hospital records, prescription drugs can be obtained and sold on the dark web. If a hacker accesses student records from an educational institution, PII of adolescents are exposed. Children are the most vulnerable to identity theft because they offer a clean sweep for thieves to apply for credit cards, mortgages, and loans. If a hacker accesses top-secret government documents and sells it to foreign governments, I don’t even want to think of having World War III as a possible scenario. If a hacker accesses client accounts from a bank, you already know what happens, and you just hope it’s not your bank. Unfortunately, these are just a few opportunities hackers have when acquiring PII or any valuable data that leads to a financial gain. This valuable information is no longer on paper stored in a filing cabinet in a dusty closet; It is stored on computers, and that is exactly why we need cybersecurity.

The world needs cybersecurity professionals now. All organizations need qualified individuals with teamwork, leadership, communication, and technology skills to secure and protect their PII and other valuable data. There are endless career opportunities in the private sector, government, and military for cybersecurity professionals. Penetration testers hack computer systems before the bad hackers do. Security engineers and architects design and build computer systems. Incident responders solve problems against cyber threats. Software programmers write secure code that cannot be hacked. Forensic experts solve investigations involving digital systems. Those are only a few of the high-demanding career opportunities in the cybersecurity field. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs in 2021, and that number will only continue to rise. Let’s change that.