Data Security Within The Expanding Cloud Environment

Data Security in the Cloud

News stories of hackers and data leaks seem to be everyday occurrences. These stories make the cloud feel wild and dangerous with rogue bandits guarding every road on the super highway of the World Wide Web. The truth is that these stories are largely exceptions. If you consider the amount of data accessible to the web at any one point of time, these leaks are a tiny fraction of the data out there. The truth is that the vast majority of data is carefully protected and monitored by people with cybersecurity careers.

Keeping data secure is one of the largest challenges facing the modern organization. Cloud computing is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. CompTIA, the information technology (IT) industry association, released their November 2014 report stating that "...more than 90 percent of companies are using some form of cloud computing, a clear indication that the cloud has quickly become an essential ingredient of modern IT". As public and private clouds grow they will expand the amount of data stored, and as data sizes grow, the need to protect it will become even more challenging.

The number of hackers attempting to breach the public and private cloud infrastructure of business organizations is not declining in number, and they become more sophisticated as time goes on. CNN recently cited a report by Symantec that estimated almost 1 million new pieces of malware were released every day last year, "More than 317 million new pieces of malware -- computer viruses or other malicious software -- were created last year. That means nearly one million new threats were released each day." Hackers have a wide assortment of tools to use to infect users, everything from email to software updates.

Those who follow a path towards cybersecurity careers are bound to have a great deal of opportunity. According to the U.S. News & World Report, being a IT Security Analyst was one of the top 10 best jobs to have last year. They pointed to projection by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that found a potential 36.5 percent employment growth for IT Security by 2022.  

Cybersecurity careers tend to have more than one entry point. A bachelor's degree in computer science is the most common path. A master's degree is also helpful. However, a degree is not the only way in. There are various certifications that can show potential employers you have the skills. In some cases, a certification is more valuable than a degree since it shows the employer you have the specific skills required. Several reputable organizations offer certifications such as the Cloud Security Alliance's CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge). Check out this article at CIO.com for a solid list of certifications worth pursuing.

Clearly cybersecurity careers will only expand in the coming years. Anyone hoping to enter the world of information technology should consider these opportunities. The number of potential certifications from various reputable organizations means that there is always potential to enter the field regardless of past experience. Working day to day to bring some order to the chaos of the cloud can be an extremely rewarding career.

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