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Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month which is sponsored by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This week has been designated as Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week to promote awareness and exploration of cybersecurity careers and highlight the societal contributions made by practitioners in this field. There are many reasons to consider a career in cybersecurity including the opportunity to work in a dynamic industry with practically unlimited growth potential while enjoying job flexibility, earning a great salary, and making a difference in the world. With rising demand for cybersecurity professionals, those just beginning to explore a career path or seasoned professionals looking for a change have many opportunities in the field of cybersecurity, both now and in the future.

Cybersecurity Career Details

The field of cybersecurity offers a wide range of professional opportunities across 7 job categories, 33 specialty areas and 52 different work roles as shown in the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework. Cybersecurity professionals work in virtually every sector of the economy today including the financial services sector, the communications sector, the chemical sector, the information technology sector, the emergency services sector, and the defense industrial base sector to name just a few. A cybersecurity professional wears many hats and, depending on their role, will often be involved in a variety of tasks such as evaluating potential security threats, creating and enforcing plans to prevent or detect a security breach, preparing technical reports, and educating others within their organization of the importance of being diligent about proper cybersecurity practices. Entry level positions include titles such as Cybersecurity Specialist/ Technician, Analyst/ Incident Responder, Cyber Crime Analyst/ Investigator, and IT Auditor.

The Cybersecurity industry has seen exponential growth as evidenced by the fact that there were an estimated 415 million internet users in the year 2000 compared with an approximate 3.9 billion internet users in the year 2018. This dramatic increase in technology users means a similar increase in security issues and threats. One example of this is the size of the ransomware market, which was just $325 million in 2015 compared with an estimated $11.5 billion in 2019. Cybersecurity talent is more needed than ever with industry growth occurring at a rate 3.5 times faster than in general IT fields and 12 times faster than the overall job market according to statistics published by tech giant, Cisco.  It is estimated that there will be a 3.5 million worker shortfall for cybersecurity positions in the current year. Now is the time to gain the skills needed to fill these positions and meet the growing security needs of organizations across the globe.

Those wishing to pursue a career in the field of cybersecurity should begin by obtaining an undergraduate degree in information technology, information systems, and/or computer science. This can be enhanced by a master’s level degree in cybersecurity operations and leadership or information technology. Cybersecurity job candidates can increase their appeal even more by adding an industry certification to their credentials such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation or the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certificate. Once educational and professional certification requirements have been met, job candidates should network within the industry by joining a local cybersecurity organization or by volunteering with a cybersecurity organization. Upon landing the first role as a cybersecurity professional, candidates will gain valuable industry experience which will increase their value even more and help them to zero in on the area of cybersecurity that is just right for their abilities and interests, leading to a long and rewarding career.

McKonly & Asbury can assist your company in managing cybersecurity threats by performing a SOC for Cybersecurity engagement to identify whether effective processes and controls are in place and provide you with recommendations to detect, respond to, and mitigate and recover from breaches and other cybersecurity events. Please reach out to David Hammarberg at We can answer any questions and help you determine if a SOC for Cybersecurity report would be useful for your company.

About the Author

McKonly & Asbury

McKonly & Asbury is a Certified Public Accounting Firm serving companies across Pennsylvania including Camp Hill, Lancaster, Bloomsburg, and Philadelphia. We serve the needs of affordable housing, construction, family-owned businesses, healthcare, manufacturing and distribution, and nonprofit industries. We also assist service organizations with the full suite of SOC services (including SOC 2 reports), ERTC claims, internal audits, SOX compliance, and employee benefit plan audits.

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