This blog was written by Bruce Snell.
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” – William Gibson, Neuromancer
I read this book when I was a kid and it completely blew my mind. Even though it was speculative science fiction, the ideas Gibson talked about in the book really made me think about the impact computers would have on our lives. I know I’m dating myself when I say this, but this was before the web really took off and we were either dialing in to bulletin board systems or using text based dial-up connections for access to the internet. When I entered the workforce there weren’t dedicated cybersecurity jobs, so it was a bit of a running side project for most of us as part of our network/systems administration duties. There were really no opportunities to learn any of this stuff in school. We all had to make it up as we went along.
Fast forward a few years (ok, maybe a decade or so) and everyone’s lives are so interconnected and reliant on technology that cybersecurity is no longer just about keeping your website from getting hacked. Cybersecurity now helps people stay safe and healthy. As advances in medical science spawns new technology for saving lives, cybersecurity helps keep those machines safe from malware that could bring those systems down at a critical time. Connected health care systems allow doctors to quickly access their patients’ medical history to provide quick and accurate care. Online banking allows employers to deposit money directly into the bank accounts of their employees. Mortgage checks never get lost in the mail because we can pay directly via a website. Our lives are greatly enhanced by technology and cybersecurity helps keep those systems operating.
Those are just some things that create an overall need for cybersecurity. However, what really fuels my passion for cybersecurity is how technology impacts my family. My wife, my parents and my in-laws are all online. I have two children that are growing up in this hyper-connected world and I want to do everything I can to make sure that they can feel safe in their digital lives. When I was starting out you really had to know what you were doing to connect online. My kids are going to grow up in a world where they are always connected. Knowing that I’m helping build a safer online world for my kids, so they don’t have to worry about getting hacked or having their identity stolen, that’s what keeps me in cybersecurity.
Everyone deserves to go online without being hacked or cyber-bullied. It’s my hope that with access to improved education and awareness, others will feel the same way and look to a career in cybersecurity.