1.6. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a cross-disciplinary field that is concerned with preventing misuse of computational devices and data. It is a relatively new discipline that arose out of a realization that a system is only as secure as its weakest link - and thus keeping systems secure requires a comprehensive approach.

While every technical professional should be concerned with security - developers should write secure code, network administrators should configure systems to be resilient to attack, etc… - there is a need for individuals that can think about all of these potential issues and how they interact. These are cybersecurity professionals.

Cybersecurity jobs from the technical (cryptography, network defense) to business and management (setting organization policy and training users). Even within the more technical jobs, there are a wide variety of specializations that may require advanced skills in programming, networking, system administration, or mathematics.

Typical careers:

  1. Information Security Analyst


Because Cybersecurity is a cross-disciplinary field, there are a variety of educational paths.

Most Cybersecurity degrees focus on an IT skill set and then add specific advanced training in security-related topics. These programs exist both as two-year Associate’s degrees and as four-year Bachelor’s degrees.

However, there are also IS-related jobs in Cybersecurity - management focused roles that require more business knowledge and have less of a technical focus.

And for Cybersecurity careers focusing on cryptography or advanced software-based security (malware analysis), a specialized background in CS or SE may be required. Some computer science programs offer tracks in cybersecurity that would be appropriate for these kinds of careers.

Knowledge Domains:

This diagram illustrates the knowledge areas required in this field. A 5 represents a very high degree of required expertise while a 1 represents a minimal amount. In addition to these knowledge areas, a cybersecurity professional will often need specialized knowledge in one or more other areas as well (computer networks, programming, etc…).

Click a discipline label to enable or disable it in the visualization.
Materials on this page adapted with permission from from:
Association for Computing Machinery Curriculum Report
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