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Cyber-security is the practice of ensuring security and integrity of computer systems, software, electronic devices, and networks from hackers or other malicious entities. This field is essential for businesses to protect data and information from attacks. In a world that relies on computers and the internet for communication (email, smartphones, tablets), entertainment (interactive video games, social media), transportation (driver-assistance systems, navigation), shopping, health care (medical equipment, medical records) and even to survive (power grids, water treatment facilities), it is imperative to have strong cybersecurity measures in place to keep out criminals and ensure safety for all users.

Increasingly, businesses are the targets of cyberattacks and breaches. The consequences of this can include financial loss, reputational damage, and productivity interruptions. Having a robust cybersecurity strategy in place protects sensitive customer data, proprietary information, and operational continuity, while helping to reduce the risks of cyberattacks.

The best way to secure a career in cybersecurity is through formal education and training. There are a number of options for those who wish to pursue this path, including earning an associate or bachelor’s degree through a traditional four-year university, earning certifications online or through an accredited training program and gaining hands-on experience through internships or job shadowing.

Cybersecurity professionals are also responsible for educating end users on how to be more proactive in protecting themselves against cyberattacks. This includes demonstrating the importance of deleting suspicious email attachments, not plugging in unidentified USB drives and other simple steps that can help to prevent the spread of viruses or malware.