Why Veterans are a Great Fit for Cybersecurity

Norwich Pro

March 7, 2022

Cybersecurity attacks pose a constant threat to computer networks of both small and large organizations in the public and private sectors. A recent cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline resulted in the closure of its computer systems that caused fuel shortages and a spike in gasoline prices. While the government seized much of the ransomware, Colonial Pipeline could have lost millions to recover its network. Fast-food giant McDonalds also experienced a data breach that exposed customer and employee private information while the world’s largest meat processor paid an $11 million ransom to hackers that disrupted U.S. plant operations.

Cybersecurity experts are needed more than ever to stay on top of different attacks and protect the assets of enterprises. They also play a big role in current national security. U.S. Veterans are ideal candidates for entering the cybersecurity field with their military clearances and backgrounds in working in high-risk situations. Taking certificate courses such as those offered by Norwich Pro provides more specialized skills sought in this field.


What Are Cyberattacks?

A cyberattack is a deliberate attempt to infiltrate a computer system or network to steal or disable internal data. The hijacked organization typically pays a ransom to regain control of information. Cybersecurity statistics report that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million.

Cybersecurity threats come in different forms such as:

  • Malware: a malicious software program that corrupts or steals data. With more than 1 billion malware programs in existence, four companies are victimized by ransomware attacks every minute.
  • Phishing: distribution of fraudulent emails that, when clicked, lead to a fake site to capture login information. According to CSO magazine, 94% of malware comes through email, with $17,700 lost every minute due to these attacks.
  • Man-in-the-middle: eavesdropping attacks when hackers insert themselves between two parties to capture private information. Using these tactics, a third party can eavesdrop between clients and servers.
  • Zero-day exploit: attacks a disclosed vulnerability before an enterprise resolves the problem. Industry statistics report that 60% of breaches involved vulnerabilities because a company did not apply a patch or implement a solution.
  • Denial of service: disables a machine or network to deny services. These attacks continue to increase in number, complexity, and duration. The cost of a DDoS attack according to a recent security survey averages between $20,000 – $40,000 per hour.


The Growing Need for Cybersecurity Experts

Organizations with cybersecurity practices backed by trained cybersecurity specialists that identify and respond to incidents are better positioned to avert attacks or decrease their effects. A cybersecurity workforce shortage and lack of new professionals result in nearly half a million unfilled positions, according to CyberSeek. Cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing career areas nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be a 350 percent growth in open cybersecurity positions from 2013 to 2021.

In-demand cybersecurity professionals earn an average salary of $100,743, reports Zip Recruiter, with top earners making $184,500. Salaries vary by position, experience, job location, and specific competencies. Popular positions in this field include:

  • Cybersecurity Manager
  • Information Technology (IT) manager
  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Information Security Analysts


Military Skills Translate into Cybersecurity

Veterans can translate many skills and practical experience earned through military service to a cybersecurity career. Discipline, teamwork, and risk management are transferrable qualities. Homeland Security also cites the following:

  • Ability to quickly process information in a dynamic situation.
  • Familiarity with dealing with threats.
  • Maintain awareness of a critical situation.
  • Support a mission to protect others and intelligence.
  • Understand security procedures.
  • Security clearance necessary for some federal positions such as in the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security that protect national security.
  • Risk management skills to evaluate the threat.
  • Teamwork to collaborate as well as lead co-workers and programs.
  • Conflict resolution skills to hand complex issues.

Veterans who have worked in security operations may possess advanced skills in information security and familiarity with computers, cryptography, and software sought by private-sector companies.


Get the Right Training

In addition to technical backgrounds, cybersecurity positions require specialized soft and management skills to handle critical situations, lead teams, and create corporate policies. Norwich Pro offers online microcertificates that build critical competencies valued in the cybersecurity field including:

  • Risk & Mitigation Strategies
  • The Structuring of Internal Investigations
  • Developing Leadership Skills
  • Operating within Structures & Systems
  • Policy Development, Approval and Implement

In addition, Norwich offers an online certificate program in AI & Cognitive Technologies that provides an understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) and its business applications. Among the tools used by cybersecurity experts is AI that speeds the detection and resolution of problems. Cybersecurity teams must understand how to use AI as an added layer of protection and intelligence to help them guard company operations against hackers. Norwich Pro’s online certificate program in AI & Cognitive Technologies provides a basic understanding of AI and its business applications. The course covers:

  • Introduction to AI and Cognitive Technologies
  • Automation Basics
  • Intro to Big Data
  • Blockchain Basics
  • Data Analytics
  • Machine Learning Fundamentals
  • The Internet of things

Norwich University has served military students for over 200 years. Our online certificate programs address the need to balance family, work, and military responsibilities with educational goals. Norwich also offers counsel in suggesting courses that can supplement military experiences into a civilian career.

Please visit the Norwich Pro website for information on Norwich microcertificates that develop and deepen professional skills to get ahead in a cybersecurity career or enter into one. Have questions? Contact Norwich at https://pro.norwich.edu/contact or by email at norwichpro@norwich.edu.


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