The topics I wrote about for this column in 2017 have been focused on skills, competencies and ways you can progress your security career through self-assessment and improvement. If you have been working through the various topics month by month with me, you should now consider where the largest number of career opportunities will be available to you in the New Year.
Contrary to what you read in the press, cyber and IT security are not the only growing areas for careers in security. The complex systems of checks and balances that exist across society are being challenged as never before. Corporations are struggling with how to build governance around how people act and behave while still protecting organizational assets.
Security job seekers should proactively seek out areas that are either underserved or upcoming because of these trends. I have seen an uptick in demand in several areas, and they are challenges all organizations will be facing across the coming years. Educate yourself about these areas now to take advantage of increased security career opportunities.
Insider Threat and Workplace Conflicts
This is not just about disgruntled employees. Organizations have had protocol in place for decades; however, there is a continued climb in these events, and public awareness has increased based on media coverage of large mass-casualty events. Many corporations are revisiting their protocol around high-risk people and workplace violence, and they require subject matter experts.
Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence
I have seen an increase in corporations putting in intelligence programs. There is a demand for intelligence analysts and managers across a broad range of industries to deal with many different issues. Organizations increasingly seek to proactively gather intelligence and use counterintelligence to address corporate threats. They are interested in evaluating the long game. There are many opportunities in these disciplines available to job seekers.
Social Media Impact
Organizations are struggling with potential negative impacts of social media use by their employees. Corporations educate employees about how to protect the organization from potential loss, however it is common for there to be a disconnect between the corporate perception and the individual view. Policies surrounding social media use vary widely, and there are often security implications and issues around corporate reputational risk.
Concern about loss of intellectual property by organizations has grown far past the recipe for their secret sauce. The perception that information stolen or misappropriated, which is then made publicly available, is free and available for use by anyone is clearly contrary to a protection of assets mindset. Organizations are interested in protecting increasingly widening areas of information critical to the success of their business.
Privacy and Data Processing
There have been some significant, very public thefts and misappropriation of personal data from organizations in the past several years. This together with the rise of corporations that aggregate data for monetization has led to a heightened awareness of how personal information is protected and used. While there are certainly career opportunities in cyber and IT security surrounding this issue, there are other security jobs manifesting as governments continue to legislate these issues.
The current general societal tone seems to be a negative one where conflicts manifest quickly where there previously were none. This threat landscape will continue to evolve, and organizations are required to create new approaches to new issues. Security professionals should look to these trends and shifts for opportunities to expand their knowledge and progress their careers.