Bust cybercrime with a STEM career

Cyber security is the new frontier of warfare, and cyber criminals are the enemy.

For every physical crime that makes the national news, or headlines on social media, there’s an often unacknowledged world of shadowy intrigue sitting beside it, full of crimes much harder to trace and infinitely more dangerous. Over the 2020-21 financial year over 67,500 cybercrime reports were made by Australian individuals and businesses.

Cybercrime can involve anything from the acquisition of private passwords, communications and photographs, to financial information and funds.

Stand and deliver

A common thread among cybercrimes in recent years is ransomware. Ransomware refers to software or other technical bugs designed for the sole purpose of capturing (and holding hostage) private and sensitive data. The sting comes both from the threat of that information being released and the cash that must be paid to get it back.

Ransomware as a criminal tool is most effective when the target of an attack is a larger corporation, a government agency or another organisation that provides an

Getting started

Most of us are kept safe from the threats of cybercrime by highly specialised cyber intelligence analysts, but if you’re interested in cyber security and crime prevention, your career options don’t stop there. Other pathways include ethical hackers or penetration tester (pen tester) – people with special skills in breaching security, so teams can identify flaws in a system and patch them up.

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network points to a skills shortage across information communications technologies (ICT). In fact, the Wall Street Journal estimates it’ll take 3.1 million people worldwide before the job needs for this growing industry are met.

Staying safe

The internet has become integral to our every day and the way we communicate with others. While it can all feel interconnected and we sometimes don’t hesitate to share data, we’ve also got to remember we’re essentially broadcasting information to strangers. If our information ends up in the wrong hands, things like identity theft, photoshopping personal pics and other invasions of privacy become a real risk.

So always be cyber aware!

Start your career here

Cyber security + fighting crime study

  • Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour, University of Western Sydney

  • Bachelor of Information Technology, Australian Catholic University

  • Bachelor of Information Technology (Networking and Cyber Security), University of South Australia.

Cyber security + fighting crime jobs

  • Cyber security analyst: $53K–$116K

  • Ethical hacker: $100K (average income).

(Salaries according to payscale.com).

Hannah Diviney

First published on CareerswithSTEM.com

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