Cybersecurity is a serious threat to organizations of all types, from commercial enterprises to government and nonprofit institutions. An attack can not only halt operations but also permanently jeopardize data and a company’s brand, revenue, assets and infrastructure, especially for those organizations without the resources to prevent attacks.
Many organizations are ill-prepared for cybersecurity attacks, especially small to midsize businesses (SMBs). A cybersecurity report referenced on Embroker indicates that 66% of SMBs have experienced an attack in the past 12 months, and 45% of SMB leaders say their processes are ineffective at mitigating attacks. As smaller organizations scramble to meet the cybersecurity challenge, there will be plenty of employment opportunities for well-trained cybersecurity managers. In an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Cybersecurity Administration program, students can prepare to become cybersecurity managers and learn about issues and trends in the field and how to respond to these challenges.
According to CompTIA’s 2022 State of Cybersecurity survey of global IT industry professionals, the most important issues driving greater investments in cybersecurity are a growing number of cybercriminals, privacy concerns and trust-building, an expanding variety of attacks, the scale of potential attacks and increasing reliance on data. In addition, survey respondents rated the importance of the objectives of a cybersecurity strategy. The highest priorities were to protect critical assets, protect customer data, minimize disruption to ongoing operations and demonstrate trust externally.
The survey also identified the most vital areas for improvement in threat intelligence. At the top of the list were malware, ransomware, phishing, firmware hacking and hardware-based attacks. Cybersecurity managers and their teams are the critical line of defense against these cyber threats.
Roles and Responsibilities
Commercial enterprises, government agencies and other organizations must have a plan for managing cybersecurity. This responsibility falls under the purview of cybersecurity managers. These IT leaders typically supervise a team of professionals who work to protect their information systems, networks and data against threats, including malware, hacks and security breaches. The cybersecurity manager devises and implements policies to protect digital systems and assets. In addition, the role develops comprehensive guidelines and protocols for an organization’s employees on handling systems and information. In the event of a cyberattack or data breach, the cybersecurity manager oversees the situation internally and works with external investigators and law enforcement personnel.
The industries that have been particularly active in hiring cybersecurity managers and related personnel include manufacturing, healthcare, finance, insurance and IT. Wherever attacks on IT systems and data prove most costly, there are dire needs for experts to fill the role of cybersecurity manager.
The specific duties of a cybersecurity manager include the following:
- Establishing security protocols for information systems and networks
- Installing and maintaining security networks
- Monitoring cyber threats, vulnerabilities, suspicious activities and intrusions
- Leading research and investments in cybersecurity technologies
- Developing security solutions that meet company visions and adhere to regulations
- Providing technical support for security systems, including firewalls and patch management
- Managing user configuration and remote access privileges
- Keeping systems compliant with laws and industry regulations
- Training IT staff and the entire company on best security practices
- Conducting security audits to ensure policies are followed
Employment and Compensation
The CompTIA survey reveals that as of 2022, there are close to 715k U.S. job openings requesting cybersecurity skills. Job growth projects to be an astounding “253% above the national rate over the next ten years.” Professionals with cybersecurity training and expertise are needed to combat a 15% projected increase in cybercrime year-over-year, with costs estimated to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.
The current median annual salary for cybersecurity managers, according to Climb the Ladder, is $120k, with managers in the top 10% earning $445k. In addition, managers are paid based on training and experience and may earn additional bonuses or commissions.
The University of Illinois Springfield’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Cybersecurity Administration program prepares graduates for success in cybersecurity management roles. The AACSB-accredited program has been recognized by the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (NCAE-C) and has been approved by the largest cybersecurity establishments in the United States: the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Graduates of the program are in high demand for their expertise in cybersecurity threats, security management models, practices, maintenance policies and leadership capabilities in devising and implementing effective companywide cybersecurity strategies. Students in the program learn to apply data analysis, report writing procedures and other digital forensics techniques.
If you are interested in becoming a cybersecurity manager, consultant, information security analyst or even a chief information security officer, this program provides a proven path to your career ambitions.