Careers in fintech-related cybersecurity
By Avery Phillips
The idea of getting your identity stolen or losing valuable personal information online is a relatively new threat that has taken the world by storm. It almost seems like no matter what you do to try to protect yourself, you are always at some level of risk. Especially as much of our personal data, including health care and banking information, isn’t solely within our control, some of the power lies with the entities that we must share this info with.
Fortunately, there are people out there that can help make a positive difference in the protection of our data. Even within the financial sector — where new technologies are pushing the limits of our knowledge — there are specific cybersecurity professionals that are working towards keeping our transactions as safe as possible. These people are essential to the success of any organization that is working in the digital world.
The value of cybersecurity professionals in the financial — and every other — sector of the economy makes them a hot commodity. With a background in cybersecurity, one could literally write their ticket anywhere that they wanted to go and be successful in doing so. The biggest struggle facing us today is keeping the supply of people qualified for these jobs high enough to meet the demand.
An Immense Need
It may come as somewhat of a surprise, but cybersecurity is a sector of the job market that is grossly understaffed and desperate to find qualified professionals to take jobs. One study indicates that nearly 3.5 million cybersecurity-related jobs will be left unfilled within the next couple of years. Whether or not people are just unaware of this immense need or some other factor prevents them from pursuing these careers is unclear.
Many professionals are working to expose young adults to the opportunities that could exist for them if they were to pursue a career in cybersecurity. They encourage parents to nurture their kids’ interest in technology from a young age and to promote them studying things like coding, IT, the cloud, and other modern technological tools as soon as they are old enough to grasp the concepts.
The fact of the matter is that cybersecurity is critically important to nearly any business and organization out there today. Someone with the necessary background could work in a hospital setting, a federal organization, or the financial sector with ease. In reality, this skill could enable them to live wherever they want and put their energies into helping organizations they are most interested in.
Plenty of Options
Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties for people to understand prior to getting into the field is just how much diversity there actually is when it comes to cybersecurity. Much like how the broad term “healthcare” doesn’t really adequately describe all of the intricate careers within the field, “cybersecurity” just barely scratches the surface of what one could specialize in. There are actually a bunch of different cybersecurity specializations such as automotive security engineering, cloud security, and penetration testing.
One example of a career in cybersecurity is vulnerability analysis. As a vulnerability analyst, you would work to find weaknesses in networks and software then design solutions to beef up the security system. You’d basically be getting paid to find ways to hack the system, then fixing it. The career could be in-house for a larger company, or by contract, meaning you could work on a lot of different systems over time.
Of course, this is just one example. There are many that would be highly relevant to the fintech industries that are working daily with individual and corporation finances. Hiring someone like a vulnerability analyst would allow you to enhance your cybersecurity infrastructure. Building a strong team of cyber professionals is your best bet at fully protecting your company.
Keeping Up with Tech Advances
Becoming a cybersecurity expert would also mean taking steps to keep up with the latest technologies of the day. Given how quickly everything is advancing and new ideas are becoming mainstream, this in and of itself could be a real challenge. In the financial sector, take the advances of cryptocurrency and its use of blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology is a way to pass information through transactions with a very low risk of hacking. The data is verified through multiple databases, and each transaction gets its own block, meaning that in order to steal information one would either have to have the personal key of the owner or change all the blocks at once from multiple databases. This can make it particularly difficult to steal information, but not completely impossible.
There are a lot of really cool ways that blockchain technology is currently being used to protect personal data in all sorts of sectors of our economy. As previously mentioned, it is popular with cryptocurrencies, but it is also beginning to be used by major banks to help better protect transactions. It is also being used widely within the healthcare system and the state and federal governments to protect personal data and important information from hackers and those that would use it to do wrong.
The field of cybersecurity is vast and full of thousands of opportunities for those interested. There are literally millions of job openings within the U.S. alone, which means that anyone with an interest and enough skill would be able to work just about wherever they wanted. New technologies are constantly keeping the job interesting and professionals on their toes.