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The Growing Importance of a Career in Cyber Security

Technology has revolutionized how most people live, communicating, accessing information, and making finances more manageable. However, this increased connectivity also exposes users to security issues and the ever-growing threat of cybercrime.

The Rising Threat of Cybercrime

Significant data breaches have occurred recently at well-known financial institutions like Equifax, Capital One, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. In addition, as more people gain access to high-speed internet and smart devices, their vulnerability to cybercrime continues to grow. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, global financial damages from cybercrime are projected to reach more than $8 trillion in 2023 and $10.5 trillion by 2025.

Dr. Bryan Malone, Director of Cyber Security, Computer Science, and Data Analytics at Colorado Christian University (CCU), compares cybercriminals to "a hidden enemy that attacks us at all levels." This is why CCU is training the next generation of information security, computer science, systems analysts, and cybersecurity professionals to combat these threats.

"I parallel that to the devil. He is a hidden enemy that attacks us at all levels from a spiritual perspective. Cyber security is no different," said Malone. "Bad and malicious actors will constantly attack us in areas we don't typically focus on in our daily work. For example, Malware comes to us from a link; a phishing email supposedly comes from a company or college president, or threat actors capture our data between trusted clients and network resources. Hidden enemies are everywhere."

The Need for Cyber Security Education

Malone explains that information security is now a critical infrastructure supporting an organization's digital footprint. It protects individuals and businesses while promoting innovation and economic growth in today's digital world. Moreover, cyber security advances social justice by protecting marginalized communities, such as the elderly or victims of cyberbullying and online harassment.

Beyond the organization at large, there are aspects that advance social justice through the protection of marginalized communities such as the elderly who may be less informed or struggle cognitively with personal information security measures and privacy laws and measures," Malone said. "Protection against cyberbullying, methods of online harassment, and online hate speech can significantly impact individuals' or society's overall mental health."

CCU's Cyber Security Program Options

CCU offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in Cyber Security and a Computer Information Technology program with an emphasis in Cyber Security. These programs provide students with theoretical knowledge, new skills, and practice using skills needed to succeed in cyber security jobs.

Students begin with general education requirements, including writing skills, calculus, and math, before diving into the core cyber security program topics. "Every student needs to have writing skills," Malone explained. "We must write reports and communicate with boards, CEOs, and CFOs. We need to be able to communicate. Then there is also calculus and math to learn cyber security and apply encryption methods of information protection."

"When you work in cyber security, you're working with all the nuts and bolts of the system," Malone stated. "Bad actors will complete tasks, so we need to stay up to date and understand what they're doing. So we must become cybercriminals and understand what they're doing and how they're doing it to stop them by using ethical hacking."

Malone shared that CCU currently has graduate students who work for the National Security Agency (NSA), Amazon, Google, hospitals, banks, and other industries.

Using Real-World Tools and Techniques

Unlike other programs, CCU doesn't offer internships because its curriculum integrates theory with hands-on experience, ensuring graduates are equipped with practical soft skills, promising careers, and a college degree. In addition, the undergraduate curriculum integrates a 50-50 model of introducing approach with developing hard skills, so graduates leave with a degree and experience in the field.

"They can get into a network, scan a port, and identify potential vulnerabilities in computer networks. Showing these skills is often as valuable to security and network administrator job titles as having an official certification."

CCU's cyber security programs utilize tools like Project ARES, which the federal government uses in cyber operations. In addition to computer programming, students participate in capture-the-flag activities, taking on offensive and defensive postures to simulate real-world scenarios. This hands-on experience is often as valuable as having an official certification or cyber security job.

Ethical Considerations in Cyber Security

Before diving into cyber security's technical aspects of cyber security, a promising career, CCU students must take an ethics class taught from a biblical worldview. Malone emphasizes the importance of integrity, honesty, and accountability in the cyber security expert and cyber security job, stating that cyber security professionals are called to serve and protect others.

Preparing for Leadership Roles in Cyber Security

While undergraduate students at CCU learn the theory and practice needed to make a difference in cyber security, graduate students typically come with prior experience in cyber security jobs. These students want to move into leadership roles within the private sector, industry, or cyber security jobs. CCU's programs help them develop the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.

Pursuing a Rewarding Career in Cyber Security

The high demand for skilled cyber security professionals is increasing as the digital landscape continues evolving and expanding. A career in this field offers job security and competitive salaries for cyber security professionals who work for a good career move and the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and organizations.

Choosing the Right Path in Cyber Security

The field of cyber security is vast, with numerous specializations and niches to explore. Whether your interests lie in network security, ethical hacking, computer forensics, digital forensics, cloud computing security administrator, or risk management, you can tailor your education and career path to pursue cyber security to align with your passions.

As you progress in your cyber security career, you may also pursue advanced cyber security professional certifications such as CISSP, CISM, or CEH, which can further your cyber security job and enhance your expertise and marketability in the industry.

The Impact of Cyber Security Professionals on Society

By choosing a career path in cyber security, you'll join a community of dedicated professionals working tirelessly to protect individuals, businesses, and governments from cyber threats. Your efforts will help safeguard sensitive information, mitigate risks and cyber security issues, preserve privacy, and maintain the integrity of critical systems and infrastructure.

In addition, your work in cyber security can contribute to social justice by protecting marginalized communities from cyber threats, promoting online safety, and fostering a more secure digital environment for all.

Preparing for Success in the Cyber Security Field

To succeed in the cyber security industry, staying informed about the latest technology trends, security protocols, and emerging threats is essential. In addition, networking with other cyber and information security analysts and professionals around, attending conferences, and participating in online forums can help you stay connected to the ever-changing world of cyber security.

"Knowledge is power," Malone said. "Being informed means growing in one's faith in the cyber security and cyber security fields, an ever-changing realm. Joining professional organizations such as the International Association of Computer Security Professionals (IACSP), Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) gives practitioners in cyber security jobs the ability to network, share resources, and train with other like-minded individuals in the profession.

Furthermore, cultivating a growth mindset and continuously seeking opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills in cyber security roles will ensure that your career opportunities remain at the forefront of the field. Finally, as technology advances and new challenges arise in your cyber security career, your adaptability and resilience will be critical factors in your long-term success as a cyber security professional.

Careers In Cyber Security

A career in cyber security is vital not only for protecting individuals and businesses but also for promoting social justice and economic growth. As cyber threats continue to rise, well-trained cyber security professionals are in high demand.

"By protecting others from cyber attacks, we are working under the command of God," stated Malone. "Beyond societal norms of moral and ethical behaviors in business by protecting others from identity theft, exploitations, and financial fraud from online threat actors."

"A career in cyber security offers a unique blend of intellectual challenges, exciting career, job opportunities, professional growth, and societal impact. By pursuing an education in cyber security, a promising career in this field, and honing your skills, you can play a vital role in shaping the future of digital security and ensuring a safer online experience for everyone. So don't miss the opportunity to make a difference – embark on your journey toward a rewarding career in cyber security today.


Colorado Christian University does not guarantee any job placement as a result of earning this or any other degrees offered by the university.

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