Cyber crime is a big business, costing more than $1 trillion globally in 2020. The price the world pays for cyber crime is projected to continue a steep upward climb and could reach an annual cost of $10.5 trillion by 2025. Despite these threats, there are not enough skilled Cyber Security workers to fill the 465,000 job openings listed in the United States. Here are the top six industries to work in if you’d like to pursue a Cyber Security career.
The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks due to the vast amounts of personal and financial information stored and accessed on healthcare facility and organization systems. Unfortunately, these systems are also poorly defended.
Cyber criminals take advantage of easily accessed sensitive information to hold patient records hostage using ransomware or sell that information on the darknet. In 2020, the healthcare industry experienced 599 data breaches, up from 386 in 2019, resulting in approximately 26 million patient records being exposed.
Individuals with training in penetration testing would serve the financial industry well. The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission requires financial institutions to conduct penetration testing for regulatory compliance. Even so, cyber attacks increased by 118% in 2020.
The financial sector was the top-ranking industry for cyber crime in 2020, and the four previous years as well. Given that financial institutions deal in money, it isn’t surprising that this industry is a prime target for hackers. The financial industry is always going to need people skilled in Cyber Security.
The energy and utility sectors are attractive targets for cyber criminals and a wide-open market for Cyber Security workers. People who receive hands-on training in both offensive and defensive skills provide much-needed support to this societally important industry.
The energy sector’s increasingly digitized systems are vulnerable to attacks, placing the country’s operational capabilities in jeopardy when hackers break into the software control systems. An additional challenge in the energy industry is the service’s distributed nature, so those who understand how the grid works and have the skills in Cyber Security are much sought-after.
4. Higher Education
The K-12 and higher education industries are at risk for cyber attacks, but the higher education sector is getting hit the hardest. Ransomware is the weapon of choice for cyber criminals who target education institutions, making job seekers with Cyber Security certifications particularly appealing in the industry.
Hackers often reap a double benefit in these attacks, collecting money for releasing encrypted data and for preventing the publication of sensitive data. In 2020, higher education was targeted in 26 ransomware incidents, with the University of California, San Francisco, paying out $1.4 million to cyber criminals in one of those attacks.
Federal, state, and local governments store sensitive information that can be valuable to hackers, placing a target on government agencies. The number of incidents in government agencies places Cyber Security workers in high demand at all levels.
During the 2019 fiscal year, the U.S. government experienced 28,581 cyber attack attempts, 4,388 of which were email and phishing attacks. In 2020, government organizations lost almost $19 billion to cyber attacks from both recovery efforts and downtime. Often, state-funded hackers from other countries are instigating these attacks, so it stands to reason that governments are highly invested in protecting their data.
6. Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
While it’s the big businesses that make big news when they are hacked, it’s the small and mid-sized businesses that are most vulnerable. For those who receive a Cyber Security certification, working with a local small business could be a good place to begin a career. These companies are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, as 60% of them end up permanently shutting their doors within six months of falling victim to hackers.
If you are seeking a new career in an industry that has a high demand for workers, Cyber Security offers an exciting opportunity. With INE’s comprehensive training programs, including courses, hands-on labs, and live bootcamps, you’ll obtain the skills companies and organizations all over the world are looking for.