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What Is Cybersecurity and Why Is It Important?

what is cybersecurity

Cybersecurity involves several layers of protection on a network and of programs on hardware to shield sensitive information. Ultimately, cybersecurity encompasses everything an individual, corporation, small or medium business and government institution require to prevent disruption of daily operations.

Cybersecurity is key to protecting computers, networks and data from malicious attacks by hackers seeking to steal, alter or destroy sensitive information under the motive of money, a vendetta against a business or other circumstances.

Types of Cybersecurity

Listed below are the most common types of cybersecurity and why they're essential for businesses of all sizes.

Application Security

Application security involves the use of physical and software preventative measures to secure apps from external threats. It is normally conducted during the development of an app.

Cloud Security

Cloud security is the protection of the apps, data and infrastructure involved in cloud computing.

Information Security

Information security encompasses the processes implemented by an individual or organization to protect physical and digital sensitive information.

Network Security 

Network security involves upgrading defenses on a network to protect IT infrastructure, as well as installing preventative measures on physical devices.

The Most Common Cybersecurity Threats

Listed below are the most common cybersecurity threats to the loss or corruption of sensitive information on digital devices.

Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is a cyberattack that involves the use of a list of compromised user credentials, such as usernames and passwords. This method relies on a single user to have the same login credentials for multiple devices and programs. The cyberattacker uses a bot to scale his or her ability to breach multiple devices and programs of a user.

DoS Attack

A denial-of-service (DoS) attack involves corrupting a device or network to render resources temporarily or permanently unavailable to its owner.


Malware is a term for a category of malicious software, including ransomware that locks devices, spyware that intrudes on user privacy and viruses that corrupt or destroy data.

Cyberattackers use a range of methods to inject malware into a user's device, usually without the user knowing they've allowed it to happen. Malware is injected through the opening of unsecured links and attachments that contain hidden malware installation.

Man-in-the-Middle Attack

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack occurs when an attacker covertly relays and alters the communication between two users who believe they are messaging each other. 


Phishing occurs when a cyberattacker impersonates a legitimate institution or a person the recipient trusts. It involves the use of an email, phone call or text message to trick the recipient into disclosing confidential information or downloading nonsecure links in the message.

SQL Injection

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language used to manage databases. SQL injection targets vulnerable sites and uses malicious code to command the server to provide information it usually would not. SQL injection is one of the most common web hacking techniques, and one of the worst parts of this threat is that a database can be at risk without any indication of malicious activity.

Cybersecurity is in Demand

There is a wide gap in the field of cybersecurity when it comes to qualified professionals. In fact, the unemployment rate in the cybersecurity field is expected to remain at zero percent until at least 2021. The opportunities are endless, and present good reason for every IT professional to learn basic cybersecurity skills.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of demand for information security jobs from 2012 to 2022 is higher than the average for all other professions. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts a gap of 3.5 million cybersecurity positions by 2021 across the world. According to ISACA, all big companies will have a chief information security officer by 2021. Every technology expert should strive to protect software, hardware and people from malicious software activities.

Essential Cybersecurity Skills

Cloud Security

As the adoption of cloud computing continues to rise in popularity, having professionals who possess cloud security skills is crucial for keeping up with the market shift. Security professionals must develop their skills in cloud security to prepare themselves for a future where all companies are utilizing cloud computing in their daily operations.

The most in-demand careers in cybersecurity include chief information security officer, security engineer, network architect, systems administrator, security analyst and cyber forensics investigator. They all work toward the single goal of protecting network and hardware from cyberattacks.

Intrusion Detection

A single data breach can lead to significant losses for a business and its customers. There is a high demand for cybersecurity experts who can quickly detect network intrusion and mitigate the loss of sensitive information.

Malware Analysis

A malware attack is a serious threat that requires cybersecurity specialists to exercise their training in digital threat management, business continuity and disaster recovery planning.

Programming Expertise

Programming knowledge allows cybersecurity experts to quickly identify the possible risks, analyze them and come up with methodical contingency plans. Knowledge in system design, administration and networking are also highly sought after.

Earn a Cybersecurity Certification

In today's economy, technological capabilities are rapidly accelerating, and the demand for cybersecurity professionals will continue for years to come to ensure businesses can scale safely.

A cybersecurity certificate is the best first step to enter the field, as such programs equip IT professionals with vital skills that prepare them for a rewarding career. Prospective students who work full time can also take self-paced cybersecurity courses through virtual training.

Enrolling in an instructor-led virtual training course enables you to learn essential skills and relevant knowledge, including information about the gaps in today's IT security. The highest-quality virtual training courses provide opportunities for instructor-student engagement by allowing students to ask questions and receive answers in real time, much like a traditional classroom.

ExitCertified offers flexible instructor-led virtual cybersecurity training courses, with tailored training options available for individuals, groups, corporate teams and government institutions. Courses can also be completed in person or online through virtual training.

Learn more about cybersecurity training courses available through ExitCertified.

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