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Cyber-security is the ability to protect information technology (IT) infrastructure, systems, networks and devices from harmful hackers and threats. The field requires a unique blend of technical skills and problem solving abilities to help prevent and mitigate attacks against an organization. Working in the cybersecurity field can be a challenging, rewarding and lucrative career choice.

As the world becomes more reliant on computer systems, it’s important to take steps to ensure these systems remain secure from attack. Threat actors have a strong incentive to infiltrate these systems for the purposes of data theft, extortion, destruction of critical infrastructure like power plants and hospitals or even for purely political and social motives (hacktivism). It’s estimated that over 2,000 data breaches occur every day.

A robust security posture requires an understanding of what’s at risk, assessing an organizations existing tooling and capabilities, creating a plan to address gaps and then executing that plan. Common security goals include confidentiality, integrity and availability. Confidentiality involves ensuring that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and that the right people are using the system at any given time. Integrity ensures that data is not altered by malicious actors or even by accident, and availability means the data is available when it’s needed.

It’s also important for individuals to be proactive about their own cyber security. This includes educating themselves about security best practices, utilizing an anti-virus program, installing a firewall, using strong passwords and implementing a two-factor or multi-factor authentication process for all their accounts.