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What is Security Awareness Training?

Protecting Sensitive Information

Anyone seeking a job in today’s modern work environment can earn a security degree to help prevent cybercrime. A variety of businesses need individuals who have completed security awareness training that teaches about protecting data stored on computers. Computer networks are the main way that businesses such as retail establishments, medical facilities and government offices store and retrieve data. Most of the data stored by businesses is sensitive information requiring protection to avoid theft.

Avoiding Loss of Property

There are many security careers that are appropriate for individuals who have an interest in protecting people, buildings or objects from risks such as robbery or vandalism. In the past, security jobs were primarily located at on-site locations where valuable goods or large amounts of money were kept. Financial institutions have hired security personnel for many years to work various shifts round-the-clock to prevent internal and external theft.

Security Focus Has Changed

Security guards hired by retail establishments, medical facilities and manufacturing plants were often retired police officers or military personnel. Very little formal training was required in this job category because the tasks typically involved walking around the indoor and outdoor areas of a building to stop thieves or vandals committing illegal acts. Today, the focus of protecting people, objects and buildings from dangers, including break-ins has changed drastically.

New Technology and Security Protection

Due to the changes needed to protect property and human lives, many employers want to hire highly trained personnel who have received a security degree from a community college or university. Students can enroll in associate or bachelor’s degree programs at either a brick-and-mortar or an online college. Working a job in the field of security protection is becoming increasingly more complex because of new technology such as alarm systems, computers and cellphones.

Protecting Computer Data Systems

A security officer must understand how to use video monitoring devices attached to remote cameras that are placed throughout large buildings in hallways, offices and storage rooms. Instead of numerous employees working in different sections of a property, one knowledgeable individual is responsible for watching all areas of a building and parking lot on computer monitors. Security awareness training is also primarily used to teach employees how to protect information stored on computers to prevent theft.

Preventing Internet Theft

Internet theft leads to loss of financial resources as criminals collect vital social security, charge card and bank account numbers. Commonly known as cyberheisting, this type of theft involves using phishing, malware and spam techniques to hack into computer systems illegally to gain access to money and information. Most businesses now use computers in a variety of ways to sell products and store client’s information. Every employee must have an awareness of ways to protect their employers and client’s data.

Lucrative Security Career

All employees are typically enrolled in lower level security awareness training when they are hired. Many businesses also train one or several workers to provide full-time security to protect the information stored on computer databases. Alternatively, a company can hire an information security analyst with a security degree to protect computer systems and networks. The opportunities in this lucrative security career are growing rapidly with the prediction of many more job openings by the year 2020.

Receiving Formal Education

While many security jobs offer low pay, individuals working as information security analysts are earning over $40 an hour. The individuals entering this employment field have usually attained a bachelor’s degree in a computer based major along with business courses at a college. A thorough understanding of numerous computer systems, software and accessories is vital to effectively work in this security job. An individual is responsible for an assortment of tasks such as installing firewall protection on a company’s computer network.

Important Job Responsibilities

Part of working with the information technology of an organization will include investigating cyber attacks, preparing reports concerning security breaches and training other workers how to protect information. A security systems analyst is often the person responsible for providing security awareness training to new employees in a company. Computer security jobs require someone who is innovative in developing techniques to protect data and solve problems when cyber attacks occur.

Highly Ethical Behavior

Most computer security jobs require an employee to work traditional business hours with occasional on call work for emergencies due to breaches. Businesses want to hire employees who have no criminal background to avoid loss of important information. A security system analyst must remain ethical at all times because they have access to sensitive information concerning company secrets and client’s data. The United States government requires several types of businesses to follow specific guidelines concerning protecting data.

Complying with Government Regulations

Organizations responsible for medical information must comply with the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to protect patient medical information and personal identification numbers. Financial institutions must follow the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to avoid illegally disclosing client’s private information to unauthorized individuals. Debit and credit card companies are required to follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to prevent fraudulent use of client’s data.

Importance of Specialized Education

Security employees hired to protect a business’s computer network and systems must have specialized education in order to effectively perform duties. As more organizations begin to use computers for their businesses, additional individuals with security training awareness will be required. Students applying to colleges should seek information concerning security degrees that involve protecting data stored on computers. Companies will hire more workers for computer security jobs in the future as government regulations for protecting data become stricter.


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Find Your School is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.