For the most part, cybersecurity is its own specialty within computer science, networking, data management, and information technology fields. But to always consider cybersecurity activities in isolation misses the point of the role that cybersecurity practitioners play within critical industries such as healthcare, finance, insurance, and even fields like environmental protection.
So how does cybersecurity fit into the bigger picture, or the broader economy? In order to answer that question and get a better understanding of some of the unique challenges faced by cybersecurity workers in various critical fields, we put together these in-depth industry profiles.
Each profile is designed to provide an overview of the industry and the specific cybersecurity challenges within that field. In addition to the background, each industry profile also provides a more in-depth case study of the importance and role of cybersecurity in the industry as well as a section outlining resources to learn more.
Cybersecurity industry profiles
So far the industries profiled include:
Cybersecurity in the healthcare industry — Cybersecurity in the healthcare industry is a rapidly growing concern. The cyber threats to the healthcare industry are twofold: One, hackers use ransomware and other tactics to steal sensitive and identifying information about people and then sell it on the darknet. And two, as more and more medical devices become connected to the internet, the security protecting those devices becomes more important. More than just losing data or identity to the darknet, compromised digital security in the healthcare industry can literally mean life and death. The cybersecurity situation in the healthcare industry is only expected to grow more pronounced in coming years.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY PROFILE
Cybersecurity in the insurance industry — The insurance industry is massive, it employees nearly 3 million people across almost 6,000 firms and companies in the United States. The result is more than a trillion dollars in economic activity every year. Given the sensitive financial and identifying details that insurance companies need to collect on their customers, it makes sense that the databases and backends maintained by insurance companies are attractive targets for hackers and cyber crime organizations. As the insurance industry continues to grow, so too does the threat to this massive economic sector.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY PROFILE
Cybersecurity in the financial industry — The financial industry is a cornerstone of the entire global economy. Estimated at generating $22 trillion in economic activity, the financial sector is under constant threat of digital heists and sophisticated hacks. Despite its size and the amount of resources available to the financial firms and companies, recent reports describe conditions of complete unpreparedness for the looming cyber threats. In fact, we don’t even need research and reports to understand the threat to large financial firms. Just look at the headlines of recent years and we realize that the combination of personal identifying information, as well as access to financial accounts, makes the financial industry a massive target for digital fraud and theft.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY PROFILE
Cybersecurity and environmental protection — Unlike some of the other industries profiled, cybersecurity and environmental protection are not often associated. But increasingly, as critical environmental infrastructure like drinking water and wastewater services are controlled by computer networks, or operated by cloud technologies, the need for strong cybersecurity defenses is becoming increasingly important.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PROFILE
Cybersecurity in the energy industry — Major cybersecurity incidents in the energy sector, including the 2021 Colonial Pipeline attack, highlight the importance and vulnerability of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Cybersecurity is so important that the Department of Energy recently created the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response to help prepare for and mitigate future cyber-related incidents.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY PROFILE
Cybersecurity in the federal government — Securing federal government agencies, work places, and installations from cyber threats and attack is becoming an increased priority across the government. From federal employee cyber-related best practices to securing information networks critical to national defense, a massive cybersecurity shift is underway within the federal government.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN GOVERNMENT PROFILE
Cybersecurity in the transportation sector — The transportation industry quickly, safely, and securely moves people and goods across the country and overseas. This sector includes aviation, automobiles and motor carriers, maritime transportation, and railways. As this critical industry becomes more dependent on interconnected digital systems, the risk of cyberattacks rises. Historically more concerned with protecting passengers and cargo from physical threats, the industry now faces an alarming increase in cyber attacks.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR PROFILE
Cybersecurity in the food and agriculture sector — It’s hard to think of a more critical economic sector than agriculture. It is an industry that directly affects the lives of everyone worldwide. The future of the food and agriculture industry will increasingly see the application of scientifically precise and automated farming techniques. Automated ‘agro-bots’ will monitor, treat, and work the land, using high-tech tools designed to help maximize yields and minimize disease. These advances in agriculture-related technology have brought along with them an increase in cyber threats.
Read the full CYBERSECURITY IN THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE SECTOR PROFILE