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Cyber-security is any technology, measure or practice used to protect internet-connected devices and systems against malicious hackers and threats. It helps prevent phishing schemes, ransomware attacks, identity theft, data breaches and financial losses.

With the world becoming increasingly reliant on technology and attackers finding new ways to breach digital systems, cybersecurity needs are constantly growing. That means there’s expansive room for career growth for qualified professionals. You can start out as an IT security technician or junior penetration tester, and then work your way up to a cybersecurity manager, security architect or chief information security officer role.

The main goal of any cybersecurity strategy is to stop an attack before it starts. This involves implementing risk assessments, creating clear policies on employee responsibilities and acceptable use of technology, and monitoring the system in real-time. A robust cybersecurity plan also includes establishing and maintaining access control systems that ensures only authorized personnel can access certain sensitive data or IT assets. It’s important to train employees and help them understand how seemingly harmless actions can leave the company vulnerable to a cyberattack.

The most common targets for cyberattacks include medical services, e-tailers and public entities that hold customer data. However, any company that uses a network can be targeted by hackers seeking financial gain, corporate espionage or even personal revenge for perceived slights. To mitigate this, many companies encrypt their sensitive data at rest and in transit to help deter cybercriminals.