Cybersecurity is in Demand

Share Button

There are 1.8 Million Unfilled Cybersecurity Jobs in the United States,

So where are the Workers?

One of the fastest growing, and best paying, job fields in the United States is also becoming one of the least populated. According to the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², by 2022 there will be an estimated 1.8 million jobs in Cybersecurity that will go unfilled. This number increased from the initial estimate in 2015 of 1.5 million by 2020. So why are these jobs sitting vacant?  Will they be filled at all? One of the most significant causes is the documented lack of interest by Millennials in Cybersecurity. In a recent study by the Center for Cybersafety and Education, only 7% of those cybersecurity professionals in the field who were surveyed are under the age of 29, while the vast majority is over the age of 40. That large majority is on the verge of retiring, and that shift will only increase the number of open jobs in this field. But the field of Cybersecurity isn’t that hard to get into. With a degree in Cybersecurity, or even experience in software development or programming, this career path is one in which anyone with an interest in technology can succeed.

 

An article from Forbes Magazine claims that the Millennial generation sees Cybersecurity from a different perspective than their older peers (such as their parents and grandparents) because they have grown up living with computer and internet technology as part of their everyday lives. The concerns that face younger generation online, such as the security of cloud-based platforms, and password-protected sites, are much different than when the internet was first established. Ironically Millennials are MORE aware of cyber threats than previous generations, but they are less likely than Baby-boomers to take extra precautions to safeguard their information and documentation, especially on social media. On average, a Millennial will use 3-5 passwords for their various profiles in order to ensure security; however, that proactive behavior doesn’t seem to translate into an interest in Cybersecurity because this group tends to reuse the same password for multiple sites. Unfortunately there is not enough awareness of this career field in comparison to other technology-focused options to bring more students into the classroom. Compounding this lack of interest are the assumptions that Cybersecurity is the same as any other IT field and that there is no need to specialize, or that years of extensive training are needed to become a high-level security expert. Those assumptions are very wrong.

Every year in the U.S., 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled, and employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other cyber-security related roles, according to cyber security data tool CyberSeek

Many Cybersecurity specialists only need a few years of training in order to obtain an entry-level security position. The average salary for a Cybersecurity professional according to CIO, citing a survey conducted by Semper Secure, is around $116,000 annually (roughly $55.77 per hour). More specialized positions such as Chief Information Security Officer, or Lead Software Security Engineer, have an average salary of $200,000. That number is three times the national median income! In fact, many of the almost 1.8 million jobs in Cybersecurity are located right here in California. Companies such as Google, IBM, Cisco, and Facebook have a high demand for Cybersecurity specialists and that demand will only grow in the next ten years as cloud-based computing becomes more prevalent. Those cybersecurity specialists who take and maintain high level certifications such as the CISSP are more likely to achieve an even higher salary!

 

In order to make a career in cybersecurity more accessible, Coleman University created an expedited degree program of three years or less (depending on status and credits transferred) for a Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity. Students earn their degree while also taking advantage of our Career Services department to find jobs in the field. Alumni also have the advantage of a lifetime of career services assistance from our experienced advisers.

 

If you have been looking for a more lucrative career, and have a passion for technology and making the online world more secure, think about Cybersecurity as your future! With the growing demand for professionals, and over a million potential jobs to choose from, this field has plenty of opportunity for those who want to take it. At Coleman University, we can make that goal happen faster, and with the help of our instructors who have years of experience in the field and in the classroom. Call Coleman today at (858) 499-0202 to schedule a tour!

 

Share Button

Faculty Spotlight: Ben Mead

Share Button

This month we sat down with an instructor from our Software Development Department, Ben Mead for an interview about his life in technology and his passions. From his early interest in technology, to his current role as an instructor at Coleman University, there is a lot to know about Ben! Read on to find out something new about one of your favorite instructors on our campus.

Have you always lived in San Diego? What was it like growing up in Southern California?

While at this point I’ve been in San Diego for most of my life, I can still wear shorts year round and sometimes find myself longing for a snow day. Nevertheless, this is the city I love and call home.

What was the first experience that you had with technology that inspired you to make it your career?

Growing up on Oregon Trail and the NES showed me there is a lot of fun to be had with electronics. However, it wasn’t until middle school during a Basic Apple class where I thought, “this is what I want to spend my time doing.” I thought it was so cool to write a program that could create a simple pixel police car and make it drive across the screen blinking its light along the way. I was instantly hooked on computers, as they provided me the satisfaction and feedback I needed as a young teen. It did what I what I asked it to do. It also let me know real quickly when I made a mistake, without judgment, and I could then fix it.

What is one of your favorite subjects to teach in your classes?

As a technologist by trade, I am able to bring an experienced perspective, from working in the industry, to my students. One of the benefits of teaching in the Cybersecurity program at Coleman University is that I get to relate each of the classes I teach to current event examples of how criminals and law enforcement are leveraging technology to work through their operational challenges. Additionally, I enjoy creating open forum conversations with each class as they work through team dynamics and coordinated obstacles, so that together they are able to produce an outcome greater than they would individually.

How do you think TV and other media have changed the way that people think about technology and hacking?

Hollywood and the media are hilarious with the way they portray technology and those who use it! They portray outrageous and beyond reasonable examples, ranging from exploding monitors in soap operas to typing the word “cookie” to stop a cookie monster virus. More often than not, the overdramatic misinformation takes away from the beauty of modern technology and the terrifying reality of what is happening in the hacking scene today.

Do you have one type of tech that you can’t live without in your daily life?

Convenience is a key reason anyone adopts a technology. I find myself pretty resourceful but my go-to convenience for work and play has got to be my smartphone. It grants me the ability to terminal in from anywhere and check out the latest cat gif (pronounced like a gift and not like the peanut butter JIF).

What activities or hobbies do you like that have as little to do with tech as possible?

The least tech hobby I’ve got is playing paintball. It’s just so satisfying laying rope down a lane and watching someone run right through it!

How long have you been teaching at Coleman? What’s your favorite class to teach?

The last two years teaching at Coleman have been a fun and enriching experience. It’s hard to pick one class that I’ve enjoyed the best, as each of them has been awesome in their own way.

Do you have any resources, like books or websites, that you recommend for good information about coding and programming?

I recommend that anyone looking for more information on learning coding and programming should talk to one of our Admissions Consultants about what they’re looking to accomplish and how Coleman University can help.

 

 

 

If you are interested in learning about all that you can accomplish with a degree in technology, call us today to set up an appointment with one of our admissions representatives at (858) 499-0202. We are here Monday through Friday to answer all of your questions and help you get started on the path to a lifelong career in technology!

Share Button

Coleman is Ranked #1 in San Diego!

Share Button

Recently our University was pleased to find that we had been ranked number one in San Diego for Cybersecurity degrees by Universities.com. If you did not already know, Coleman has had the longest running Cybersecurity (formerly Network Security) degree program in San Diego. Since 1963 when we first began our journey as The Automation Institute, our organization has been at the center of technology development and we have graduated many distinguished alumni over our 54 years in Southern California. From Data Processing to Cybersecurity we have come a long way by following the trends and seeing the potential in every student that walks through our door.  Our alumni have gone on to work for SPAWAR, Cisco, Kyocera, and many other incredible companies that are the leaders in technology development. With our lifetime Career Services access and small class sizes our students have been able to create lucrative careers in exciting fields. More importantly, they have brought integrity to the Coleman name and we are proud to continue to provide a top Cybersecurity education for San Diego. Our mission statement is “To deliver relevant education that prepares individuals for technology focused careers, while providing an environment where they may develop to their full potential” and we will remain dedicated to that mission long into our future. This is exciting news for our university and we are so happy to share it with our followers and alumni!!

Share Button

Ransomware Global Strike: The “WannaCry” Attack

Share Button

 

 

In the height of the westward expansion into California, the “Wild West” became not only a place, but a term that described an entire cultural phenomenon. What made the west so wild were the apparent lawless territories that saw hostile takeovers, train and carriage robberies, kidnapping, and ransoming. Over time the west was settled and developed into new states with their own laws and regulations. The wild part of the west was no longer a threat, at least in the physical world. Today we have a new and almost lawless place, however this territory only exists online. Though there are plenty of companies and programs that work 24/7 to ensure safety online, there are still opportunities for malicious attacks to be carried out. The robberies and takeovers that plagued the westward expansion have now become digital.

A typical scam that you will see online is the email phishing that we talked about in a previous blog. These scams can be easy to avoid as long as the recipient is not engaging with the email or providing any personal information. Unfortunately that does not always protect online users from being attacked for their information. Ransomware has become a bigger threat that is hard to trace and causes an incredible amount of damage. Essentially it is software that takes all of a victim’s personal files and information and holds it for a ransom that must be paid. Recently a large ransomware attack has become global news, with at least 150 countries experiencing the same attack. The most affected victims were the small businesses, universities, and hospitals that were unable to protect themselves and had to either pay the ransom or risk losing all of their data (CNN Money). Reports from China, Germany, Japan, Russia, the US, and Spain confirmed that there had been attacks from the same ransomware and that they had taken the necessary precautions to try and stop its spreading.

Through a patch in the Microsoft Windows software, the ransomware “WannaCrypt” was able to target specific users and take over their systems. Ransomware works as a lock box for your data, keeping you from accessing any of your files or personal information unless you agree to the terms and conditions set up by the creator. Victims were told to use Bitcoin to pay for the return of their files (Microsoft). Many of the Windows users who were targeted were not using an updated, or a licensed version of this software making them even more vulnerable to patches that could not be fixed in the Microsoft updates. In the wake of this viral attack, Microsoft released a statement outlining the efforts they were making to avoid these attacks in the future. However, they also called on the public to become more aware of their own responsibility in updating their computers and backing up their information with an external drive and cloud software. Proactive actions are the key to being safe online. This idea of being proactive is also what stopped the ransomware attack from continuing to spread. A young cybersecurity student in the UK decided to look more closely at the software behind the attack and discovered a kill switch. The malware was using “a very long nonsensical domain name that the malware makes a request to – just as if it was looking up any website – and if the request comes back and shows that the domain is live, the kill switch takes effect and the malware stops spreading” (The Guardian). Once the student located the domain name, all he had to do was buy it. The domain cost $10.69 and was immediately registering thousands of connections every second; once it was purchased the malware was stopped in its tracks. Additionally once this domain was bought he was able to determine the IP addresses attached to the malware and reported them to the authorities. Though this was a great victory, in the world of Cybersecurity it is just a temporary fix. There are just as many entities creating malware as there are cybersecurity experts trying to stop them. What makes this malware attack so dangerous is that it can be replicated and reused at any time.

Backing up files, or storing information in the Cloud, and regularly updating your software are the best measures you can take to protect yourself from ransomware. As we mentioned in a previous blog on email phishing, it is imperative that you avoid any email from a company or bank that is asking for your personal information via email.

If you are interested in becoming a cybersecurity expert yourself, consider a degree from Coleman University. Perhaps it could be you that stops the next big cyber-attack in its tracks! Call (858) 499-0202 for information on our technology focused programs.

 

Share Button

Phishing Isn’t a Sport

Share Button

Six tips from Coleman University on how to keep your email safe from phishing scams.

Cybersecurity is a hot button topic lately. With the rumors of Russian infiltration into the United States Presidential election, and the exposure of private emails and photos onto sites such as WikiLeaks, the privacy that we covet online is becoming increasingly endangered. With the recent phishing scam going through Google Docs, it is imperative to remember the necessary steps to take online in order to ensure that you are not a target of a scam. First, let’s review what online scamming/phishing looks like, and the ways to spot one.

The most likely scam that you will encounter is a phishing email that can be sent to your accounts. Phishing is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a scam by which an e-mail user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly.” An email may look legitimate with logos and graphics, but that does not mean that it should be taken at face value. For example, banks have taken a stance against phishing by only allowing account actions to be completed through their own websites or at a physical bank location. Your private bank will never ask you for passwords, social security numbers, account numbers, routing numbers, or any other private information via email (Telegraph.co.uk). Be on the lookout for emails that inform you of account changes or updates; if you did not authorize changes, immediately report this issue. The best course of action to protect yourself if you feel that you have been targeted by a scam is to document as much as you can with photos, emails, and phone calls. If an email comes into your inbox that seems suspicious call the company that supposedly sent it and ask about the email. Taking the initiative to validate the email before responding is one of the best ways to protect yourself from online threats. So what happened in regards to the Google Docs scam that went viral last week?

Gmail users were sent a notification from a known contact to click on a shared Google Doc. In order to access the document, the users had to authorize a transfer of contact information to the sender. Since the sender was perceived to be a friend or family member, there was little hesitation to allow this authorization. Routing the doc through an unauthorized Google Docs app prompted the Gmail user to allow the application to take control of their email information as a “management” tool (BGR.com). As a result, any personal information attached to contacts was downloaded and stored. Google reported shortly after this spamming went viral that over one million accounts were potentially compromised and the unauthorized application was shut down, as well as the email accounts that were the source of the scam. Information from email accounts linked to sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook were the most vulnerable to this scam. Any users who had encountered this phishing email were asked to change their emails and passwords immediately. An interesting thing to note is that a majority of these emails were addressed to “hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com” (Forbes.com).

One of the first things that you should look for when it comes to identifying phishing emails is the sender’s name, the name that they have addressed the email to, and the language they have used. If there are typos, or if the language is not clear, that should be your first indication that the email in question is not valid. Most often the email address of the sender will look like an official domain, but there could be minor differences such as a period between words, or a domain extension from another country such as “.ru” or “br”, which can be hard to miss. If links are provided in the body of the email, hover your cursor over them and the destination for the link should pop up. If an IP address comes up instead of the domain name, then the link could be fraudulent. Another item to look for is the tone of the message. If you receive an email that has a threat such as closure of an account, that tone is your best indication that the message is fraudulent. A good source of examples for phishing is the Microsoft website, which also lists the information for phishing phone calls and how to report phishing activity.

Taking that extra moment to evaluate an email is your best line of defense in keeping your private information safe. Make sure to update your email passwords and delete unwanted or fraudulent emails as soon as possible. If you are interested in how online security works, and want to learn more about protecting online identities think about the possibility of a career in Cybersecurity. This field is growing fast and will be a lucrative degree option long into the future. Call Coleman today to schedule an appointment and speak with an admissions counselor at (858) 499-0202 Monday through Friday.

 

 

Share Button

Network Security Commercial

Share Button

Here’s our new Network Security Commercial!

You can be on the front line of network defense and cyber security by turning your skills into a career in the Network Security program at Coleman University.

Secure networks and reliable transfer of data have become increasingly vital for successful businesses. Network Security professionals are needed to build, manage, maintain a stronger and safer digital world.

Share Button