As companies around the world become increasingly dependent on cybersecurity technology to store and manage the data of their finances, employees, clients and customers, the threat level of malicious sources looking to attack these systems is rising. Fortunately, cybersecurity professionals provide crucial lines of defense against cybercrime for companies by implementing and overseeing security systems and protecting infrastructure and data.

Despite the rising demand for cybersecurity, there aren’t enough skilled workers to meet this need. This gap between demand and available workers could continue to grow as more companies move toward remote working and become reliant on data to drive their practices, increasing demand yet further for cybersecurity infrastructures.

For individuals looking to pursue a professional pathway in cybersecurity, University of Phoenix offers a variety of relevant, career-aligned degrees.

Common Cybersecurity Threats

Statistics show that cybercrime is on the rise, with the number of reported breaches by the third quarter of 2021 surpassing the total number for the whole of 2020. No longer easily dismissed as a mild inconvenience, cybercrime has major implications for organizations, especially as more businesses than ever are making the move to cloud-based systems and remote-access working.

What’s more, the price of failing to protect company and personal data could be astronomically high. In 2021, a data breach cost companies on average $4.24 million, 10 percent more than in 2020.

Today, companies and their cybersecurity professionals face numerous challenges including:

  • Exposure of portable hardware including mobile devices, USB drives and laptop computers
  • Remote access concerns such as unsafe Wi-Fi networks or sharing of unencrypted files
  • State-sponsored attacks otherwise known as cyberattacks sanctioned by a country’s government
  • An increase in automation which requires the greater use of online systems, each of which is potentially vulnerable to cyber threats
  • Not generating passwords that are complex enough or failing to regularly update them

VPNs, Blockchain and Cloud Migration

Thankfully, several new tools and technologies are proving beneficial to cybersecurity. Three examples are virtual private networks (VPNs), blockchain technology and cloud migration.

1.    VPNs

VPNs encrypt traffic from a device or network, enabling secure remote access to sensitive information. A VPN can also keep users anonymous by masking location, IP address and other details, limiting the likelihood of cyberattacks.

2.    Blockchain Technology

A blockchain is a decentralized ledger containing data for all the transactions that take place across a particular network. A decentralized chain connects this data, and multiple parties verify every change that occurs to the collection. This makes it impossible for a single user hoping to attack the system, such as a hacker, to alter the data.

3.    Cloud Migration

Cloud migration involves moving applications, databases, software and other tools to cloud systems that provide secure, remote access for employees. There are various reasons why a company may choose cloud migration such as not needing to maintain its own servers, minimizing costs and maximizing accessibility. Cloud migration can enhance security thanks to constant threat management and strong data protection. However, unsecure connections, unauthorized access or badly configured cloud migration can leave a cloud system vulnerable to attack.

Why a Career in Cybersecurity?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, between 2020 and 2030, the number of information security analyst jobs will increase by 33 percent. Cybersecurity could prove an excellent career for those who enjoy working with computers and staying up to date with trends in technology, corporate systems and data handling.

For those considering a role in cybersecurity, a strong foundational knowledge of cybersecurity, information technology and/or computer science is essential. Successfully completing a higher education degree is one way to attain this knowledge and demonstrate relevant skills to potential employers.

Those looking to learn cybersecurity basics can do so through a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of Phoenix. These degree programs offer broad foundational knowledge that can lay the groundwork for careers in cybersecurity. The University also offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity that provides a more detailed and focused study of the subject.

Beyond a certification, employers may look for an individual to demonstrate relevant qualities such as strong analytical, communication, creative and problem-solving skills. Analytical skills are crucial for identifying potential security threats, while being creative and good at solving problems can help with finding solutions in high-pressure threat situations. Not everyone in an organization will have a high level of cybersecurity know-how, so being a strong communicator is key to explaining risks and solutions to audiences of varying technical expertise.

While some organizations may outsource cybersecurity, an effective way to meet growing cybersecurity needs and close the skill gap could be to encourage or incentivize existing IT employees to upskill through further education. Individuals with existing bachelor’s degrees in Information Technology can gain more specialized security skills through postgraduate education of the sort offered by University of Phoenix. Master’s degree program options in Cybersecurity or Information Systems provide great resources for individuals to deepen their knowledge of protecting organizations and their data and, in turn, become an employee in high demand.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is dedicated to championing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to assisting students as they explore the career options and degree programs that best suit them. The University’s degree programs correspond with numerous in-demand career paths including in cybersecurity, business and nursing. Through their online classes, flexible start dates and numerous scholarship opportunities, it’s possible for anyone to earn the degree they need at the University. Additionally, the University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides the resources needed to be prepared when entering the workforce for no additional charge. Some of these services include resume and interview support, career guidance and education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit