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Today, our lives rely heavily on technology – from communication (email, phones, texting), entertainment, transportation, shopping and even the medicine we take. All of this means a lot of personal information gets stored in computers and online, which hackers are always looking to exploit. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting these devices, systems, and data from cyberattacks.

While it’s impossible to prevent all cyberattacks from happening, having the right cybersecurity measures in place can greatly reduce the risk of a hacker erasing your files, or worse, using your computer to attack others. It’s also important for businesses to keep their employees and customers safe from cyberattacks, as the effects of a data breach can be severe.

With a strong cybersecurity system, companies can avoid a host of issues like loss of productivity, customer retention and brand loyalty damage, fines from government agencies and the costs of restoring or upgrading security systems. Companies should use firewalls, frequent backups, multi-factor authentication, and other tools to strengthen their systems’ defenses against cyberattacks.

With the talent shortage in this field, there is an opportunity for individuals with cybersecurity skills to work in many different industries and sectors – from small businesses to major corporations. With the rise of cyberattacks, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to continue to grow. It’s never been more critical to learn this skill set. Sonya Krakoff is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Champlain College Online, where she tells the school’s story across multiple digital platforms. She has extensive experience writing, editing and content marketing for mission-driven businesses and nonprofit organizations and holds a bachelor’s degree in English (with a focus on creative writing) from St. Lawrence University.