The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

Community Manager

By Michelle Bates and Jenn Oliverio, BECU Cybersecurity


Our world is becoming more and more digital, and cybercrime continues to rise rapidly. As a result, cybersecurity professionals are being embedded into virtually every industry in order to combat these real-world threats. The cybersecurity community and the media believe that cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, which is up from $3 trillion in 2015. This could mean that cybercrime may become more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.


Problem solving

In cybersecurity, we rely on some tried-and-true principles, but the tactics can change each day. There's always a new puzzle that needs to be solved because with each new wave of technology, new risks are created. Security professionals like us are responsible for identifying, understanding, and helping to mitigate these risks. For example, resolving a risk with a website running in the cloud, compared to cybercriminals attempting to steal millions of dollars by hacking into our network using member credentials, are two uniquely different challenges. Each situation is a unique puzzle and a new opportunity to rise to the challenge.


Continuously evolving and expanding your knowledge

One of the challenges of fighting cybercrime is that the bad guys are continually updating and improving their attacks. For security professionals, that constant evolution translates into a never-ending opportunity to learn. Each challenge is a puzzle to figure out what techniques are being used, how to detect them, and how to prevent the attack from being successful. All of the opportunities for growth are tied to the variety of technologies and situations security professionals have to deal with.


Solid job employment

Reports show a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019. Another startling statistic: the cybersecurity field is currently credited with having a zero percent unemployment rate while the nationwide average is sitting around 4.3 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting an additional 18 percent growth in cybersecurity jobs through 2024. When it comes to the technology sector, there are lots of opportunities in cybersecurity, and these professionals are amongst the most highly compensated technology workers, with a 9 percent salary premium over other IT jobs. And, because there’s such a high demand for cybersecurity professionals, those salaries are continually rising!


To learn more about cybersecurity careers, you can learn more from the following resources:


Cybersecurity careers


Mentoring opportunities for both youths and adults 





Being in the IT / Security industry as hackers are fluid our knowledge transfer to consumers needs to as well. One area that there seems to be a huge shortage is educating consumers on how to best protect themselves from slimmer identification, to password diversification, to RFID protection when traveling. What is BECU doing to educate their members on how to protect themselves? Have you considered a monthly newsletter to educate or perhaps a notification when fraud is reported in an area? Knowledge is power in combating these hackers, I would love to see more communication from BECU to members in real time. 


Yes, a periodic newsletter to members, outlining the evolution of best practices for citizen cybersecurity, would be a great help.  Most people have no clue at all about daily habits that put them at risk.  


My personal data has been hacked at least 5 times in the past from large institutions I had trusted.  These include the USG-Office of Personnel Management lost records on 27 million Americans.  JP Morgan.   Aetna.  K-Mart.  and a major US research university, that discovered a 2009 hack in 2018.  


Frankly, I feel the USG and the States should have been actively supporting such critical public safety education for more than a decade.  They ignorantly ignored this public responsibility, and our economy has suffered.  History will show it to be the 21st century Pearl Harbor that politicans and corporate leaders covered up.  


Credit unions, all of them, can contribute meaningfully and proactively toward helping citizens to take proper precautions.  It is important that some respected American institutions begin to pick up the pieces on such widely neglected aspects of the public trust.



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