(MY ANSWER BELOW)
With an increased demand for qualified workers in organizations, employers are recently offering enhanced opportunities to candidates who have certified qualifications and relevant experiences. Todayâ€™s workforce requires workers who are well qualified for the job and can drive an organization towards its success. In most cases, employing unqualified workers will lead to organizational failure. Security certification programs have created an enhanced way in which employers can select the only candidates fit for the job (Wang & Dâ€™Cruze, 2019).
While security is considered to be among the fastest-growing professionals, the majority of the people are now pursuing a career in security. As the number of professionals increases, it is indeed essential for individuals to have the required training to stand out in the current competitive environment and provide a high level of service in their organizations. Proper training promotes an individualâ€™s credentials as well as reliability as a career. Training helps employees to perform towards the achievement of organizational goals and objectives and its security operations (Wang & Dâ€™Cruze, 2019). Everyone within an organization should work to achieve a joint mission.
In general, it is essential to note that nothing beats experience. However, certification can help anyone stand out from other candidates without the certification. Additionally, certification gives a candidate the skills they would not have learned if they had not pursued the career. Todayâ€™s workforce is competitive and requires candidates who are well fit for the job. During hiring, employers consider those candidates who can help them to achieve the best results. Adequately trained personnel reduce liability. It is important to note that trained individuals will reduce some incidents as well as the burden when organizations are faced with lawsuits. They can make decisions concerning their area of work which can protect the organization from lawsuits that could have been placed on them. In other words, they are always self-drive and do what is right and will promote organizational development. In such a case, it may save the organization from any costs that may come across.
Similarly, the costs associated with high turnover is reduced. High turnover could result from various reasons such as low pay and incompetency. In such cases, employers consider candidates who will provide quality services for better reimbursement.
In most cases, it may not make any sense to pay unqualified personnel better pay while their outcomes are poor.
Similarly, the employees will have morale as they enjoy their career and improve performance in the organization. Compared to unqualified employees, candidates with certifications can promote organizational growth since that is their profession. With the morale they have concerning their work, they can likely foster the essential skills to bring the best to the organization (Bryson, 2018).
Security certification programs help employers to have the confidence in their candidates as they consider them fit for the job. Stiff competition is always higher for positions with top pay and those organizations requiring a high-security level. With the innovation in technology, employers should as well consider the changes to events and how they can well move on with the current innovations.
Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.
Wang, P., & Dâ€™Cruze, H. (2019). Cybersecurity Certification: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). In 16th International Conference on Information Technology-New Generations (ITNG 2019) (pp. 69-75). Springer, Cham.
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Maybe I missed it, but where does Education fit in? Is it important?
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Professional success is often driven and analyzed through a very subjective lens that is often specific to other professionals that are peers in the same career field. An individual seeking employment is particularly affected by that professional opinion as they move through a particular career field or look to enter a new one. Experience, formal education, and professional certifications represent three areas that support professional success. I believe that experience is most critical, closely followed by formal education and then professional certifications. Your professional experience is so important because it essential represents your competency within a particular field where it documents your practical abilities. It can also be considered the vehicle that allows for the application of formal education and certifications in real-time. It is certainly the most unique of the elements of success because it can only be gained through life. This is exceptionally helpful for the professional when that experience is gained in the proper manner. The caveat to experience gained arises when a professional has learned processes or skills that are incorrect, or they have been applied improperly over time. Experience can be invaluable for an individual on their professional journey. Sometimes very talented people who are attempting to crossover into a new field with limited or no experience have difficulties finding such employment. This is why internships are often such a necessary and valuable opportunity for some professionals.
Formal education follows in criticality and is absolutely key in developing resilience, character, and opportunities to network within a specific career field. It is necessary for the education to be received from an accredited educational institute in a field that is specialized. Formal education is necessary to develop theoretical skills and mindsets for a particular field that results in what are considered â€œintangible benefitsâ€ that offers a base of educational understanding. It is in this environment that the professional can also interact with others through the exchange of ideas which helps develop a specific professional context.
Professional certifications are least critical in the professional journey, but they are important in their own right. These certifications can typically only be sought when a certain level of experience and education have been obtained, and they act as a validating process for both experience and education. These certifications are educational as well, but they offer a very narrow focus rather than a broad contextual base. Professional certifications that have a continuing education component can be particularly valuable for employers when viewing a professionalâ€™s credentials. Fowler offers the fact that, â€œContinuing education credits (or units) tend to ensure that employees remain abreast of current thought and developments in their professionâ€ (Fowler, 2017). These can be particularly validating when certifications have a very specific requirement for experience and education that has been documented and can be transferred to the certifying organization. It is important for the professional to set goals concerning their career so that they can plan and organize their efforts in obtaining experience, formal education and professional certifications as they continue on their professional journey.
Board Certification Handbook. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.asisonline.org/globalassets/certificat…
Fowler, J. T. (2017, December 21). The Three Key Components of Career Building: Experience, Formal Education and Professional Certifications. Retrieved fromhttps://onlinecareertips.com/2017/12/three-key-components-career-building/
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When considering a new hire or even oneâ€™s own professional development the elements of experience, formal education, and professional certifications are important. For a new hire it not only ensures that the candidate meets your initial requirements, but also separates the candidates from one another. I feel that it is hard to rate the elements in order of precedence because all things are not necessarily equal. For instance, if someone is applying for a CSO job and has a biology degree from an Ivy League school but has 10 years of experience working in the security sector, the experience trumps the formal education (in my opinion). Where the degree may be helpful in that circumstance is separating that candidate from another. In which case the Ivy League degree may carry more weight than someone who went to a school that is less known, unaccredited, or what have you. Similarly, certifications can prove to carry more weight in some fields. My cousin is in a highly paid position with an oil company and never finished college but has tons of certifications while some of his subordinates have advanced degrees. All of this has been to say that all three are definitely important, but in some cases one may be of more value than the others.
Formal education can be absolutely vital in many fields and institutional learning is a great way to increase oneâ€™s knowledge base. In addition to strictly learning new facts, formal education through college can help develop communication and innovation, teamwork, work ethic, and technology skills (Harmon, 2019). While all of those are good things to pick up throughout oneâ€™s education, the degree one earns may or may not be helpful or necessary to landing particular jobs. Brennan (2016) says that for the security sector a degree may not mean much. The author goes on to state that it is great to get a degree, but until fairly recently security management programs were not what they are today, and many people that have been in the field historically havenâ€™t had security specific degrees.
While I canâ€™t rate the professional success elements in order, I think I lean toward experience being the most important of the three elements, specifically, relevant experience. I believe that relevant experience in a field can prepare someone for a career more fully than formal education. Mainly because formal education often lacks the hands-on and day-to-day knowledge that comes from working in a specific field. Work experience builds a practical knowledge base as opposed to a theoretical one. Brennan (2016) says that this experience on a resume or CV is the most influential part of getting called for an interview whether or not the candidate has a degree.
Professional certifications provide a way to not only separate yourself from peers, but also serve as continuing education in a field. I feel that factor is a very important one, as it can be easy to become comfortable in oneâ€™s job. Certifications provide a way to continue to enhance oneâ€™s skillset while also increasing their marketability. ASIS (n.d.) states that their certifications help a candidate by validating their security management expertise which can elevate their stature in the profession. Additionally, certain certifying bodies can act as standard setter in an industry by bringing together people to share best practices and potentially make the field better.
ASIS. (n.d.). The value of an ASIS certification. Retrieved from https://www.asisonline.org/certification/asis-board-certifications2/.
Brennan, J.J. (2016). To what degree does your degree matter? Security. Retrieved from https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/87080-to-what-degree-does-your-degree-matter.
Harmon, H. (2019). 5 reasons a college degree sets you apart for potential employers. Retrieved from https://workplacediversity.com/articles/5-Reasons-a-College-Degree-Sets-You-Apart-for-Potential-Employers.
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The term hacking began in the fifties and sixties at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was used to describe elaborate college pranks by MIT students that had nothing to do with computers (Madarie, 2017, p. 78). The slang word â€œhackâ€ eventually evolved as students had wider access to computers and began to explore capabilities and shortcuts in the system. Much in how todayâ€™s pop culture vernaculars include the term â€œhackâ€ as a way to describe a shortcut in a task as a means to work smarter rather than harder. Hacking received it negative connotation in the 1980s when law enforcement began criminalizing the activity and portraying hackers as disobedient citizens and criminals (Madarie, 2017, p. 79). This labeling in the 1980s painted many early computer hobbyists as a risk to society and pop culture of the time began to dramatize societies worst fears. One example was the popular eighties movie War Games in which a young hacker accessed a military computer and came close to starting a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia.
While terminology of hacking used in pop culture is fairly subjective the laws for hacking are much more deliberate. The United States Code states: â€œWhoever knowingly and with intent to defraud, access a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consist only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any 1-year periodâ€¦shall be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section (18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030). Computer fraud is broken into criminal elements that include malicious intent to commit fraud and unauthorized access of a protected computer.
Another aspect of cyber crime that pop culture has gotten wrong is the generalization that â€œhackersâ€ are intelligent and trendy criminals. In reality most modern hackers are from what would be considered unfriendly countries. The connections of the Internet have provided a link for criminals from China, Russia and Pakistan to wealthy countries such as the United States. Cyber crime is flourishing in low-wealth and low-regulated countries and continues to cost the global economy between $365 and $575 billion each year (Waldrop, 2016, p. 165). The situation has made enforcing laws difficult for U.S. law enforcement officials because these crimes are difficult to track overseas and they may not have much influence with unfriendly governments. For example, 95% of counterfeit spam on the planet processed illegal transaction through three banks located in Azerbaijan, Latvia, St Kitts and Nevis (Waldrop, 2016, p. 167).
In summary, the media in the 1980s can be attributed to the conceptualization that hackers are trendy and intelligent criminals. While â€œhackingâ€ started as a positive activity to better explore the capabilities of a computer system, it has since developed into a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise.
18 U.S. Code Â§1030. Fraud and related activity in connection with computers retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030
Madarie R. (2017). Hackersâ€™ Motivations: Testing Schwartzâ€™s Theory of Motivational Types of Values in a Sample of Hackers. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 11(1), 78â€“97. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.495773
Waldrop, M. M. (2016). The human side of CYBERCRIME. Nature, 533(7602), 164-167. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/1789281700?accountid=8289
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Computer hacking is defined as activities related to identifying vulnerabilities with the intent of gaining unauthorized access to a computer, system, or network. The term hacking has changed meaning several times over the past 50 years. Originally, a hacker was someone with a deep understanding on how a system worked, who then shared their knowledge and innovation with others in the technology community (Yar, 2006). In the early days of computing, the act of hacking was mostly motivated by a hackerâ€™s curiosity on how a system worked and did not include theft, espionage, or intrusion. Any damage caused by a hacker was considered unethical or even worse, made the hacker look incompetent within the technology community (Yar, 2006). Through the years, the term hacking has evolved to imply a malicious intent by a hacker to somehow disrupt a system or steal its contents.
Until recently, hackers were often categorized as disaffected male teenagers or young adults working alone to break into a system for fun, or to demonstrate their technical abilities to others. While hackers can be motivated to break into systems for ideological or social justice reasons, to perform espionage, as a retaliatory action, or for financial gain, there is minimal research on definitive hacker characteristics and motivations (Renushka, 2017). The lack of definitive hacker characteristics and motivations makes profiling and capture of hackers challenging for law enforcement.
In recent years, financial gain has increased as a prime motivation for hackers, as they discover new ways to monetize cyberattacks. In Verizonâ€™s 2019 Breach Report, financial gain as a motivation in cyberattacks increased 33% between 2016 and 2018 (2019 Data Breach Investigation Report, 2019). An example of a new and popular hacker method for monetizing cyberattacks is ransomware. Ransomware is often delivered through fake or â€œphishingâ€ emails that trick the recipient to click on a link, which then locks the recipientâ€™s files with encryption accompanied by a demand for payment to unlock the files.
Hackers are often portrayed in popular culture as an elite group of geniuses that possess special knowledge, skills and understanding on how to penetrate systems. Until recently, hacking required a wide and deep range of knowledge to include an understanding on how code works, where to find a systemâ€™s vulnerabilities, and how to exploit system and human vulnerabilities to gain access to a system. While this was the case for many years, many tools are now available for purchase to automate cyberattacks, often requiring little or no specialized knowledge on the part of the attacker (Yar, 2006).
While statistics on hackersâ€™ motivations and cyberattacks such as ransomware are alarming, there is also a tendency to exaggerate the impact of hackers within popular culture and in the political and criminal justice realms. Technological advancements bring many benefits to society, but also bring fears that technology can somehow â€œtake overâ€ with catastrophic effects (Yar, 2006). Popular depiction of hackers as being young and alienated from society can also represent fears by older members of society that they are not as well-versed in technology as younger members of society, and vulnerable to cyberattacks.
2019 Data Breach Investigation Report.(2019). Retrieved from Verizon:https://enterprise.verizon.com/resources/reports/2019-data-breach-investigations-report.pdf
Renushka, M. (2017). Hackers’ Motivations: Testing Schwartz’s Theory of Motivational Types of Values in a Sample of Hackers. Retrieved from International Journal of Cyber Criminology: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.495773
Yar, M. (2006). Cybercrime and Society.London: Sage Publications.
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Discussion Questions: Is hacktivism a legitimate form of political protest, or a criminal activity that should be discouraged? Is cyberterrorism a â€˜clear and present dangerâ€™ or merely a â€˜phantom menaceâ€™? What is the possibility or probability of curtailing the uses of the Internet by terrorist organizations for the purposes of publicity, recruitment, information gathering and financing?
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Discussion Question: You have been given the mission of converging the cyber and physical security elements of your organization. Briefly discuss the first three steps you will take in accomplishing this mission. For this scenario, you are the CSO, you know the two departments and key subordinates well. In your response, highlight each of the three main steps in bold to avoid confusion.