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Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about applying for undergraduate study.

Information security is the practice of protecting information and information systems from unauthorized disclosure, modification, and destruction. It encompasses the security of all IT resources, including both University information and the IT devices that access, process, store, or transmit it.

An IT device is any device that is used to access, process, store, or transmit University information and that uses the University's IT infrastructure, including the University network. Examples of IT devices include desktop computers, laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, network devices, and printers.

Even if you aren't a security expert, there are a few basic steps you can take to secure your computer. Read the Secure UD Essentials for computers for more information.

  • Install and run anti-virus software on your computer to detect and remove malware.
  • Back up your computer's data to protect yourself and the University from data loss or corruption.
  • Enable your computer's firewall to block potentially harmful traffic.
  • Encrypt sensitive information to protect it from being read or misused if it's lost or stolen.
  • Password-protect your computer to prevent others from logging in and using your system and files.
  • Regularly patch your computer's software and firmware to protect against the newest vulnerabilities.
  • Physically secure your computer in a locked office when possible. Never leave laptop computers unattended in public locations.
  • Configure your computer to automatically lock after fifteen minutes of inactivity.

If you're a faculty or staff member, talk to your local support provider or contact IT for more information about the University's computer management tool, which automates security tasks like patching, anti-virus scanning, and more. It can be administered by either your unit or IT, and it's never used to spy on you or your files.

Your daily tasks in an entry-level role will depend on the company you’re working for. Generally, day-to-day tasks might include:

  • Monitoring a SIEM tool for anomalies
  • Responding to alerts and escalating where appropriate
  • Checking for proper firewall configuration
  • Basic penetration testing
  • Preparing security incident reports
  • Researching new threats and attack methods
  • Automating repetitive security tasks

Cybersecurity involves several technical skills, and the fast-paced work environment can be challenging. Having said that, it’s completely possible to gain the required knowledge and learn the right skills with some time and dedication.

Set aside a little time for your cybersecurity learning each day, and consider setting up your own virtual environment to practice those skills.

Cybersecurity as a field typically has more open jobs than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Owing to the immense demand for cybersecurity professionals, the employee base will touch 305,000 by 2022. There are over half a million cybersecurity job openings in the US at the time of writing, according to Cyber Seek. These jobs also tend to be well-paid. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median salary of $102,600 for information security analysts in the US.

Most cybersecurity analysts work full time, but they don’t always work typical 9-to-5 hours. Since cyber-attacks can happen at any time, come organizations and security companies keep security analysts on-call outside of typical business hours. If you’re looking for a job with the flexibility to work evenings or weekend hours, cybersecurity could be a good fit.

It depends on how critical that data is. If it's important that your data be accurate and available (to you or others), you should consider backing it up often. For example, you may want to back up critical project data at the end of each day or week.

Protecting yourself from identity theft is largely a matter of following best practices (and requirements) for information security. If you learn to identify and avoid phishing scams and install and run anti-virus software, you'll protect yourself from the most common means by which hackers and scammers steal your personal information. Exercise caution when providing personal information, including your name and date of birth, Social Security number, and bank account or credit card numbers, to anybody. If you're providing this information online, make sure that you're using a secure form and connection and that you're on the legitimate website of the company or group you mean to contact.

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