By Dr. Robert Gordon
Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management at American Public University
Jobs in the homeland security sector continue to grow as more organizations feel the financial and public relations impacts of security breaches from unknown agencies. As organizations store more data virtually, more criminals are launching cyberattacks on companies as well as governments. Although the increased possibility of data theft should concern everyone, it also offers more opportunities for graduates with a degree in homeland security.
A degree is a necessity for a job in government, and a homeland security degree provides a candidate with the ability to offer a specialized skill to a potential government employer. With this kind of specialization, it is easier for an applicant to gain a role in the Department of Homeland Security.
Theft of Organizational Data More Valuable on Dark Web
While most government data has limited marketability, credit card and personal identity details offer larger returns on the black market. For example, the high-profile Target credit card hack had a ready market for stolen information. However, hackers that stole NSA hacking tools could not find a buyer for these items on the dark Web.
Homeland Security Degree Applies to Other Career Fields
In addition to the government, there is a growing demand for skilled and talented individuals at financial institutions, retail companies and many other organizations.
In the information age, data is an organization’s more valuable resource and money must be spent to defend and protect that resource. Data protection and encryption will become more important to consumers as public confidence drops in companies proven to be weak in regard to protecting information.
The Target credit card hack had a significant impact as retail customers avoided going to Target for fear of having their information compromised. More security measures will need to be put into place to keep these public relations nightmares from happening.
The area of homeland security will continue to evolve as more threats — both foreign and domestic — arise over time. More governments and organizations now recognize the need to protect themselves, even in areas that people might not expect.
For example, Johnson & Johnson manufactured insulin pumps that were susceptible to hacking at a distance due to the lack of data encryption. Although the manufacturer is taking steps to protect their future equipment, Johnson & Johnson will need more in-house talent to better design and protect all their devices.
The Johnson & Johnson example does not pose a threat to homeland security, yet it does show how vulnerable many devices are to criminal actors. The recent DDoS hack of security system cameras and other less protected Internet devices shows the insecurity of many web-connected devices.
More Online Data Means More Possibilities for Theft
As more data moves online, the more susceptible organizations will become to data theft in the future. People with the right security skills and knowledge will be in more demand as more organizations realize that that homeland security expertise and experience is an operational necessity, not a nice-to-have or optional role.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Gordon has 25 years of professional experience in supply chain and human resources. Robert has earned a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership, an MBA and a B.A. in History. He has authored over 100 published articles, including five books covering a variety of business topics.