It Security: The Men Behind The Scenes

1345 words - 6 pages

Everywhere, it seems. Headlines such as “Chinese hackers hacked into Google” or “Internet scammers stole 2 million credit card numbers” appear all over the place. Why do things like this happen? Who are the people who are supposed to protect this confidential information? The truth is that those in IT security are the ones on the forefront of the underground war on hackers and other threats to national security. Overall, IT security is one of the most precise and important jobs of the modern age.

What is IT security? According to TheFreeDictionary.com, IT security is “The protection of information and information systems against unauthorized access or modification of information, whether in storage, processing, or transit, and against denial of service to authorized users.”(Farlex 1). In other words, the job of an IT security consultant is to shield “sensitive” data, such as credit card numbers, bank numbers, etc., from illegitimate people, such as hackers.

How did IT security begin in the first place? It was sparked in the early 1960s at MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology), when students programmed the school's first mainframe computer, and coined the term “hacker”(Red Hat 5). Later, Ken Thompson created a programming “language” called UNIX, renowned as the “most hacker friendly” operating system because of its accessible code(Red Hat 6). At the same time, Dennis Ritchie created another language called C, which to this day, is one of the most popular hacking computer languages ever used by both hackers and security professionals(Red Hat 7). With the rise of computers and programming languages, hacking became more prevalent, which necessitated the rise of IT security.

Why is hacking more and more prevalent in our culture? Data is a commodity, just like livestock or crops, worth hundreds of billions of dollars(Brenner 16). Governments have ever-expanding appetites of information, which makes it almost impossible to “escape our own trail of habits and past history”.(Brenner 21) Since the mobile devices in the United States alone create about 600 billion “events” per day(Brenner 19), police use social media as a powerful tool for crowd control(Brenner 19). Police also use social media because everyone tends to post what they are doing from their phone, which shows location, time, and other serious factors that give away information. The populace tends to share everything that they are doing with their Facebook “friends” or Twitter “followers”. Combined with all the information that is out on the Internet, information scientists need 33 small details about someone, like their zip code, to target him or her out of 2 to the 33rd power(which is about 8.6 billion people)(Brenner 23).

What are the various jobs within the realm of IT security? There are many different jobs! For example, one can create code to protect private information against viruses, which is a programmer. This is a very interesting job because someone interested in...

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