If the name Amazon popped into your head upon seeing the words “online shopping,” you are probably not alone. Tens of millions of people rely on the Internet giant and other e-commerce stores for everything from diapers to gluten-free flours. Every time a transaction is made on these sites, a shopper’s full name, address and credit card information is sent to a server. To save time, repeat customers often store their sensitive information with the e-commerce site, potentially posing a significant risk in the event of a data breach. If you choose a degree in information technology with an emphasis in cybersecurity, you can put your God-given talent to work by helping to protect people in your community and throughout the country from online thieves.
Financial Consequences of Data Breaches
Data breaches are costly for everyone but the thieves. Consumers lose money when digital thieves deplete accounts and rack up debt; retailers and banks lose money when they must reimburse consumers for fraudulent charges. They also face a high likelihood of individual and class action lawsuits. Even if no damages are awarded and no settlement is agreed upon, the legal fees alone can be substantial. Lastly, companies must also spend large sums of money identifying the security loophole and repairing their databases. It is not unheard of for major retailers to spend upwards of $1 million repairing the damage.
Long-Term Side Effects of Data Breaches
Businesses and organizations want to avoid data breaches at all costs – and not just because of the financial consequences. These employers are willing to pay high salaries to skilled information technology specialists with a knack for cybersecurity because data breaches can have significant long-term consequences.
A massive data breach can damage a company’s reputation and cause their customers to take their business elsewhere. This means that businesses can expect to pay more to retain the customers that stick with them and to have to attract new ones to replace those who left.
Data breaches can also affect consumers for years to come. Long after a person’s sensitive information has been compromised, he or she might have to deal with legal headaches because of inaccurate credit reports, fraudulent accounts and debt collections for debts the person never incurred.
Effects on the Cybersecurity Job Outlook
The need for online consumers to prevent data breaches equates to a skyrocketing demand for cybersecurity specialists. In 2016 alone, there were more than one million cybersecurity jobs awaiting applicants according to Forbes. Well-qualified, experienced applicants can expect to rake in large paychecks depending on the location and the employer.
With a generous credit transfer policy and supportive instructors, Grand Canyon University is making it easier than ever for you to earn your information technology degree. Visit our website or click on the Request More Information button to learn about applying to our Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree program.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.