The past two years proved to be a complete struggle for companies across multiple industries. Fortunately, most of these organisations used the time to figure out and discover the weakness of their businesses, along with their priorities. They now have a much clearer understanding of how to strengthen their businesses, alleviate the risks, and come up with long-term strategies that would allow them to transpire even much stronger after any given crisis.
In 2022, most companies are ready to take employees once again. The skills they are looking for might be different this time—skills that would be useful in their newly reinforced businesses.
While the rate of unemployment skyrocketed during the pandemic, it also opened a lot of doors for new skills to acquire and therefore more jobs that we didn’t think we’d need later in life, or the future for that matter. In Singapore, 4 job sectors are said to do well in 2022.
In 2020, the banking, finance, and insurance sector became the 3rd largest contributor to GDP, accounting for 15.7%. In the 3rd quarter of 2021, it is reported to have increased by 9%.
The intense growth of the financial services industry was mainly steered by the insurance sector. We all witnessed how people clamoured for life insurance plans as a response to the ongoing crisis. This opened the doors for employment in the industry, as 28% of the employers from the industry expressed their plans to hire this year.
IT and digital solutions will be highly in demand this year. The pandemic has made us discover many things, including the usefulness and convenience brought by online transactions. Companies from almost all industries digitalised their entire business in order to stay relevant to the consumers. Retail businesses resorted to cashless payments, finance turned to online banking, and cashless payment apps became on the rise in the past two years. Cyber security has also been a huge issue (even during the pre-pandemic period) thus, the need for IT and cyber security professionals are also on the rise. Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo previously stated that roughly 20,000 digital jobs will be created, and these digital roles will expand across multiple industries to help businesses cope while they undergo digital transformation.
In the 3rd quarter of 2021, the total services trade expanded by 7.5%. This growth is said to be brought by both exports and imports of services during the quarter. The export of business services such as financial, repair, and maintenance services has risen. Meanwhile, the increase in the imports of manufacturing, telecommunication, computer, and information services was also reported.
Statistics Singapore’s latest Business Expectations Survey for the Services Sector reported that 10% of service firms are expected to increase hiring by the 4th quarter of 2021.
This industry became the country’s largest contributor to GDP in 2020 at 21.5%. Despite being a tiny dot of an island in the world map, the manufacturing scene in Singapore is stronger than anyone had imagined—mainly electronics, chemicals, biomedical, and precision engineering). 11% of the manufacturers are expected to hire in the 4th quarter of 2021.
If your job is coming from one of the industries mentioned above, it is safe to say that you’re to keep it for a long time. If you are planning to make a career shift, it is best to consider jobs from the industries mentioned above to ensure stability as you can keep the job for a long time.
Now that we know which industries in Singapore are in dire need of new workers, here are the top 10 jobs that are highly in demand in the country.
Acquired data is just a group of numbers that make no sense if no one actually knows how to read it and interpret what it means. Data analysis, or the process of cleaning, transforming, and analysing data is performed to get valuable insights from it.
Why is it important: Data analysis is used practically everywhere—from marketing to business management, and has become an essential part of the now digitalised businesses.
Related job/s: Data Scientist
Where to learn this skill: Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy at Training Vision Institute.
Social media marketing has become one of the pillars of digital marketing, as more and more consumers spend their time on various social media platforms. There are 4.6 billion social media users in Singapore alone, which makes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube exceptional places to showcase brands, along with their products and services.
Why is it important: It is easier to reach your target audience and prospect customers in places where they are most likely to be. Excellent social media marketing can lead a business to a lot of opportunities and rapid growth.
Related job/s: Digital Marketing Strategist, SEO Specialist
Where to learn this skill: Training Vision offers Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy. This course will equip you with all the necessary skills needed to accelerate your career in digital marketing. Click here to find out more.
SQL and data analysis go hand in hand—SQL is the tool that allows businesses to acquire and store information of the consumers as well as business partners. This is where the data analysts get the data that they need to clean, transform, and analyse and use the valuable insights from that in strategising business reinforcements.
Why is it important: SQL is becoming an essential element to form the backbone of various business software platforms including marketing platforms, email automation, as well as project management tools.
Related job/s: Web Developers
Where to learn this skill: Training Vision Institute’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and Campaign Strategy includes a module that has SQL lesson which is beneficial to those who’d want to embark on their digital careers.
Digital marketing encompasses all the marketing efforts of businesses, and this is the main reason why it has become popular in the past years. It creates brand awareness in various digital platforms which makes the audience easier to reach. It is also an industry that is constantly and rapidly evolving, thus, there is always a need for fresh talents.
Why is it important: There are not many people these days that do not use the internet, and businesses are taking advantage of this by using the internet as well to showcase their brands, along with their products and services.
Related job/s: Digital Marketing Strategist, SEO Specialist
Where to learn this skill: Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy at Training Vision Institute.
Why is it important: Websites are essentially the online equivalent of physical businesses. Customers and potential clients come to the website to know more about the brand, as well as the products and services they offer. In some cases, websites also serve as the online stores of retail businesses. Their online spaces must provide a seamless customer experience.
Related job/s: Web Developers
Where to learn this skill: Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) at Training Vision Institute.
Data is needed to help solve business challenges and formulate strategies to strengthen businesses competencies. Hired market researchers provide just that. Market researchers are sought after by companies who want to market their product offerings to a specific market segment.
Why is it important: The digital transformation did not just for the digitalisation of businesses. It also created opportunities for businesses from various industries to solve the problem that digitalisation itself presented.
Happy customers are returning customers, and businesses like to take advantage of this. Excellent customer service has always been one of the main goals of companies, especially in the service industry. Customer relationship managers are known experts in making customers happy.
Why is it important: One of the components of a digital marketing strategy that is likely to succeed is excellent customer service. As we enter the digital era and digital marketing will continue to be relevant in the years to come, companies should invest in customer relationship managers.
Related job/s: Customer Success Specialist
Where to learn this skill: Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) at Training Vision Institute.
Why is it important: Digital technology is here to stay, and it is evolving rapidly. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are products of innovation, and there might be a more advanced technology soon.
Related jobs: AI Developer, AI Engineer
User experience is one of the determinants of whether a customer will buy the product from a business or not. UX / UI professionals are the ones who help a business achieve an exceptional user experience. Especially now that almost everything is done online, this customer expectation must be met.
Why is it important: Customer needs, just like the digital economy also evolve. UX / UI professionals, with their insights and skills, will allow companies to provide optimum customer experience.
Other titles: User Experience Designer
As much as we love the power brought to us by digital technology, it also brings that much responsibility. We have practically left everything to our Internet devices and networks that they must be protected at all costs. This is where cybersecurity professionals come into play. They keep us safe in the digital world from malicious hackers and cybercriminals that are just looking for an opportunity to attack.
Why is it important: The amount of data we store in cyberspace are goldmines to cybercriminals. Cyber security professionals will keep us safe from them.
Other titles: Cyber Security Specialist
Where to learn this skill: Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) at Training Vision Institute.
As much as 2022 proves to promise various opportunities, many people might not be confident enough to take the chance simply because they do not have the skills necessary to perform the tasks required for the job. In some cases, employers would end up hiring candidates with the basic skills just to have someone do the job.
Training Vision Institute provides various courses that contain the fundamentals of what needs to be learned in the fast-changing digital economy. Our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and Campaign Strategy contains modules on social media marketing, search engine marketing, data analytics, and basically everything you need to learn about digital marketing.
If you are more into cyber security and IT technology, our Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) has all the fundamentals that a cyber security and/or IT professional needs to learn. As this course is offered in partnership with EC-Council, once you successfully finish the course and EC-Council certification exam, you are eligible to acquire certifications such as Certified Application Security Engineer, Certified Ethical Hacker, and Certified Network Defender.
Customer-centric leaders and managers, as well as those who aspire to become one, Training Vision has Advanced Diploma in Service Management which provides the essential knowledge on how to come up with innovative ways to provide excellent customer service. This is important because customer behaviour these days is also changing—they want a more customer-centric approach, especially in the service industry.
Click this link and find out more about the courses we offer and talk to one of our consultants today about the course that would enhance the skills you need to start your dream career.
TikTok has been recognised as the fastest growing social media platform of all time. In 2021, it reached 2.01 million active users in Singapore alone, and a whopping 1 billion active users worldwide. Albeit the controversy it faced a couple of years ago regarding data privacy, the app still continues to increase in popularity. That is why it is no surprise that digital marketers are keen to come up with marketing strategies to take advantage of the platform’s rapid growth and popularity.
There is no doubt that TikTok is an amazing platform to promote your brand if you have a business. Tiktok marketing is simply using the app to promote your brand or the products and services that your business or company offers. There are different approaches you can use in Tiktok marketing, including influencer marketing, Tiktok advertising and creating organic viral content. The use of Tiktok marketing can help your business to achieve the following:
Sounds good, right? If you are unfamiliar with Tiktok or haven’t explored yet how the app works, there is no need to worry because it works just like other social platforms that you might be familiar with.
Basically, your Tiktok content is a 15-30 sec video (they just recently launched the 3-minute feature) that plays on a loop unless you scroll up for the next video, or scroll down for the previous video. There’s also the use of captions, descriptions, and hashtags. Think of your Instagram stories and Youtube description box. Put those two features together and voila—you now have your first Tiktok content.
User interactions in Tiktok are also the same as the other social media apps – they can like (heart), comment on, and share your videos via a direct message or to other social media apps.
User engagement is remarkably high on Tiktok, plus it has outstanding performance when it comes to keeping people glued to it. The only tricky part of this app for digital marketers is how to create content that would resonate with the audience. Tiktok users are comprised mostly of teenagers (also known as the Gen Z), but there’s also a good chunk of millennials (born in the 80s and 90s) in its active users. These are the users who like to see content that is fun, engaging and something that they can relate to in real life.
If you try to use the Tiktok app for a couple of weeks just to observe, you will notice its difference from other social media apps in terms of content type and format. This way, you’d be able to get a hang of it, and it will be much easier for you to use it as a marketing channel.
After familiarising yourself with the app, what’s next? What do you need to do in order for your target audience (and perhaps a new audience) to notice your brand on TikTok?
Again, just like the other social media platforms, you optimise your content good enough for it to land on the For You Page (a.ka. FYP) of your target audience.
The For You Page is the first page you see when you open your TikTok app. It is essentially the equivalent of your Facebook timeline, Instagram feed, and Twitter feed. This is where you see the videos from creators that you may or may not follow that TikTok thinks you might be interested in based on your past interactions. This is basically how the app’s algorithm works, based on heavy observations.
You would love to appear For You Page of your target audience because it means you did great in making content that resonates with your audience. It means that your content has quality over other videos from other creators on the app. It also means that there is a lot of opportunities that are in store for your business including follower growth, free exposure, and even potential sales in your business.
So what do you do to end up on the For You Page? Here are some guidelines you can follow:
The use of proper hashtags. We know how powerful hashtags can be, and we have already proven this in other social media apps. Make use of them, and use them wisely. Only choose a small number of hashtags, and make sure that they are relevant to your content. You can use unpopular hashtags and you can even make your own, but you must also mix them with popular hashtags related to your content or niche. Participating in hashtag trends and challenges can also help.
The shorter your videos, the better. Yes, Tiktok increased its video length to 3 minutes, and while this works for other creators, a video that is less than 60 seconds is recommended if you are using the app for marketing purposes. Remember, the less time a user needs to watch your video, the more likely that user is going to watch it until the end. If you want your video to be more than 60 seconds, you have to make sure that you have a “hook” in the beginning to keep the users watching until the video ends.
Maximise the use of captions. TikTok caption only allows you to enter 150 characters, and this includes the hashtags you are using. Clearly, this is not the platform for you if you have a lot to say in your caption. Make it precise—prioritise your hashtags as much as possible—encourage engagement (e.g. follow for more, like our page, etc.), or use a cliff-hanger to keep the viewers engaged (e.g. wait ‘til the end, I didn’t expect that, etc.)
Yes to high-quality videos. TikTok is designed so that the videos you upload can come directly from your smartphone. Make sure that your videos are not blurred or pixelated, use proper lighting, and increase the volume of your audio for an optimum viewing experience.
Types of TikTok content
Now that you have the ideas on how Tiktok works and how your content could end up on the For You Page, it’s time to come up with the content to upload. What are the types of content that resonate with your audience? Here are the five types of TikTok videos that proved to be massive hits!
Have you ever heard of the Warehouse sound? How about Nobody’s Gonna Know? Yes, these two sounds became household names on TikTok because a lot of creators have used them in their own videos creating their own twists. It is important to keep in mind that sounds are huge on Tiktok, and it’s basically a good thing for you to use popular Tiktok sounds on your own videos.
Again, hashtags are best especially since you want your content to be discovered. If one hashtag is trending, it means it’s popular and there is a massive chance that your video will end up on users’ For You Page if you use a popular hashtag. Hashtags like #edutok, #featurethis, #tiktokrecipes, and #dancechallenge have paved the way for many of the creators to be discovered and grow their following.
TikTok challenges are fun to make. It boosts your creativity because you would want your video to be unique despite using the same concept as the others. One of the recent ones was the #InfinityChallenge and many creators were really up for it, coming up with different ways how to do the challenge through their videos.
TikTok has a Stitch feature, wherein you can stitch your content to someone else’s video, and a Duet feature, wherein you can create a video that would appear side by side with another creator’s video. It is also a fun way to create a video, and effectively drives views to both your page and the other creator’s page. The best way to maximise this content is by reaching out to another creator and brainstorming with ideas on how you two can best execute your collaboration.
This type of video content is pretty much similar to using popular sounds. The main difference is that you are literally lip-syncing the sound in your video. It can be a song, a conversation, or a movie clip.
While there is still a lot to learn about TikTok, it is arguably one of the best platforms to use for content marketing. These bite-sized videos with their unique but popular sounds are sure to be a lot of fun to create. No matter what your niche is, or the kind of products and services you offer, you’ll definitely find your own sweet spot on this platform.
Do you want to know more about digital marketing? Or perhaps you want to make a career switch and want to possess the necessary skills to be a digital marketer. Sign up for our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and Campaign Strategy and become one of the most sought-after professionals in the digital age.
CEH stands for Certified Ethical Hacker, and it is the best known among all of the certifications that EC-Council offers. This was designed for the professionals who would like to have further knowledge and understanding of how to spot weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computer systems. They are also known to be adept with the tools used by malicious (black hat) hackers.
Certified ethical hackers (CEH), also known as white hat hackers are professionals who are qualified to penetrate an organisation’s computer systems with consent. The oxymoron suggests that what they do is no different from what the malicious hackers (black hat hackers) do. In fact, they are required to follow the same mindset as the cybercriminals and crack computer systems open. They take note of the strategies and the tools they used in the process, come up with preventive measures to keep the attack from happening in real life and implement those measures.
The digital transformation era heightens the need for companies in any given industry to digitalise their businesses. This also increases the need for sophisticated cyber security infrastructure simply because digital servers are essentially packed with sensitive data which can be easily intercepted. Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore reported that phishing activities, online scams and ransomware incidents dominated the cyber landscape of 2020. It is safe to say that this is going to continuously affect the companies as cybercriminals also continue to come up with new ways how to penetrate computer systems.
This is where certified ethical hackers come in, and their skills are said to only become more needed as time goes by. Because they are expected to think like the black hat hackers a.k.a. the bad guys, they have the big picture and know exactly who they are dealing with. Some of them might have been cybercriminals in the past and just decided to use their skills to do better things and help companies strengthen their cyber security features.
Here are some of the tasks of a certified ethical hacker:
Social engineering. Social engineering or “people hacking” is done to determine the weakness of the “human” defences of an organisation. Basically, the hacker will try to manipulate the victim to do the things they shouldn’t do (e.g. filling out sneaky forms from emails, sharing login details, etc.). In most cases, this strategy defines the kind of cyber security awareness among the employees of the company.
Penetration testing. From the name itself, penetration testing happens when the ethical hacker tries to penetrate the company’s computer systems to identify vulnerabilities, as well as the weaknesses of their defences and endpoints. They would then come up with preventive measures and strengthen the existing defences.
Programming. Ethical hackers also create traps, or what the cyber security people refer to as “honeypots”, which are used to lure the cybercriminals into trying to break into the computer system. This process helps them in acquiring important information about the hackers.
Survey and research. Vulnerabilities are not just present in the computer software—it can also be in the physical IT infrastructure. Ethical hackers also perform reconnaissance and research about the organisation and identify security controls and mechanisms that can be legally evaded without causing any damage.
Other digital and physical tools. These include both hardware and software devices that allow ethical hackers to install malware or bots that will allow them to gain access to the computer networks or servers.
Ethical hacking calls for a comprehensive range of technical skills and practical experience in cybersecurity as well as IT systems. While it is not formally taught in colleges and universities, studying computer science, computer programming, computer engineering, or IT systems management can give a solid foundation for those who work as ethical hackers and penetration testers.
What if you do not have these academic backgrounds? Are you still eligible to be a certified ethical hacker?
The simple answer is yes, provided that you have a strong working knowledge of common operating systems like Windows and Linux, an understanding of TCP/IP protocols, and a propensity for using C, C++, Java, Phyton, and other programming and scripting languages. Administered by the information security industry group EC-Council, the CEH program is an entry-level certification aimed at ethical hackers with little to no experience. Thus, if you want to get the certification, your best route would be to take an official EC-Council training program. Training Vision Institute, in partnership with EC-Council, offers Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) which provides the necessary training that can help you start a career in the cyber security industry.
Here are the steps on how you can get a CEH certification:
First things first—decide which exam eligibility you would like to use. You have two choices: complete the official EC-Council CEH training, or submit and receive approval for your CEH exam eligibility application. The first option is pretty straightforward and much easier. All you have to do is sign up for an official class wherein your CEH exam application fee is included.
TVI’s Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) provides all the foundational knowledge in cyber security. In partnership with EC-Council, this advanced diploma allows you to gain CEH certification upon completion of the course and passing the certification exam. What’s more, you are awarded not only the Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security, but also a Diploma in InfoComm Technology after you complete the programme.
The second option is best for you if self-study is your game. Exam eligibility without official training calls for CEH certification that is version 1 to 7 or a work experience in an InfoSec domain for a minimum of two years.
Even if you are confident enough with your knowledge in cyber security and ethical hacking, of course, you still need to prepare for the exam. EC-Council provides a CEH Exam Blueprint that you can use. Focus on the topics that you are not comfortable with, and if possible, try to practice using the timed CEH practice exams.
Once you feel like you’re ready to take the exam, register. This is applicable if you requested approval for your CEH exam eligibility application. EC-Council’s website states that you should register at least 3 days before your preferred exam date. For taking the exam, you can either go to a physical testing centre or do it remotely via ProctorU.
Focus and be in your best mindset. Get a good night’s sleep, eat a good meal, and be confident. Make sure you have a lot of time so that you are relaxed and not cramming.
CEH certification needs to be renewed, otherwise, you will be required to take the exam again. To do so, you can just create an account with EC-Council on their website, go to Continuing Education Page, and perform the tasks that need to be done.
Now that you have your CEH certification, what’s next? What are the career options waiting for you?
Digital transformation is on the rise, and ethical hackers have the skills needed not only at the present time but in the years to come. It is safe to say that becoming a certified ethical hacker opens up a myriad of career opportunities. Here are some of the jobs you can apply for once you got the certification:
Penetration tester. This pretty much sums up what a certified ethical hacker does. Penetration testing is a simulated cyberattack against the computer system of an organisation to identify its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. As a penetration tester, you are expected to attempt to break into the varied application systems. Any insights gained from the penetration test will be used to strengthen the company’s cyber security policies.
Cyber security specialist. As a cyber security analyst, your primary role is to protect the hardware, software, and networks of the organization from cybercriminals. You need to have a deep understanding of the details of the company’s IT infrastructure, monitor it at all times, and conduct assessments on the threats that could potentially breach the network. You are also responsible for configuring various security tools, such as virus software, password protectors, and vulnerability management software.
Incident responder. Also known as intrusion analysts, incident responders provide immediate assistance in the event of a cyberattack. If you are an incident responder, it is also your responsibility to assess what kind of security breach happened, identify the number of system failures and reduce further damages.
Cybercrime analyst. As a cybercrime analyst, you are required to work with both private organisations and law enforcement agencies to understand the circumstances surrounding and enabling cyberattacks. You are also responsible for recovering the stolen data, restoring functionality to the damaged systems, and collecting evidence that leads to the identity of the cybercriminals and how they performed the attack.
Cryptographer. As a cryptographer, your primary job is to come up with unique algorithms for the encryption of sensitive data, which will make it incomprehensible in the event that it is intercepted by cybercriminals. Cryptographers often work with financial institutions such as banks to protect users’ information the best they could.
While your skills can take you to places, certifications can definitely help in boosting your career opportunities. Employers would love to know that they are dealing with a professional that has the necessary skills and is certified to perform various key tasks. Invest in yourself and start your dream career by signing up for a course that matches your skills.
Whether you are thinking of switching careers or levelling up your skills in cyber security, our Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) will provide you with the foundational knowledge in info-comm technology and cyber security training that can help you jumpstart your career in the realm of modern technologies.
Sign up here and speak to one of our consultants today!
Training Vision Institute held its first open house for the year last January 8th, showcasing its courses on leadership, management, and technology. The aim of the event is to aid learners on which career path they should choose based on their skill sets.
The TVI Open House is divided into 5 parts, representing 5 bullet train platforms. Each platform contains course previews, plus a brief chat with the Academic Management Partnership Director Adrian Raj who talked about what it looks like to be enrolled in one of the TVI courses.
Advanced Diploma in Service Management
Just like other industries, the service industry is also evolving. It is becoming more and more customer-centric and it needs professionals who have the skills to respond to the demand for excellent service. Leadership, planning and processes, and people management are the core competencies that are developed in the Advanced Diploma in Service Management. This programme is perfect for individuals whose skills are customer-centric, and those who are keen on managing a culturally diverse workforce.
Find out more about the programme right here.
Watch the course preview here:
Graduate Diploma in Service Management
If digitalisation has provided one huge advantage to businesses, it is probably allowing them to stay relevant during the pandemic that crippled the world economy. Digitalised businesses, to keep up with its fast-changing environment need leaders that are skilled in developing digital strategies and digital product management. Professionals who aspire to become digital leaders should take Graduate Diploma in Service Management, the programme that will help them enhance their digital skills as leaders, and enhance their careers in the service industry.
Click this link to sign up for the programme or to learn more.
Watch the course preview here:
Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing)
The power of digitalisation extends to providing more jobs for skilled professionals. The industry that used to only cater to government agencies, finance, and health is now being sought after by almost all industries. In Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing), professionals who are interested in computer programming and cyber security can enhance their skills and be employable. What’s more, they also have the opportunity to put their technical skills into practice.
For more information about the cyber security programme, click here.
Watch the course preview here:
Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy
While traditional marketing is still in sight, digital marketing has been on the rise and it’s growing rapidly that it has created an industry of its own. With the internet platforms that are also growing in numbers, skilled professionals in marketing may want to consider taking the digital route.
Individuals who are keen on social media marketing and those who have the knack for writing compelling content that sells—this course is for them. Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and Campaign Strategy covers customer experience management, search engine marketing optimisation, content strategy, social medial marketing, advanced digital marketing techniques, and more.
For more information about the digital marketing course, please click here.
Watch the course preview here:
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The Covid-19 pandemic has made remote working more relevant than ever before, in all parts of the world. With employees getting the hang of it and becoming more productive (probably more than they are in the office setting), most companies are allowing them to stay working remotely. Advantages of remote working include increased productivity, flexibility, and work-life balance, and while all of these sound lovely to achieve, this practice cannot come without any disadvantage at all. Cybersecurity risks are just one, but probably the most challenging downside to it.
The remote working setup has presented a greater concern when it comes to cybersecurity.
Remote working is not exactly popularised by the pandemic—there are companies that allow some of their employees to work from home even before the Covid-19 era, and there are also employees who have to go on business trips from time to time. Being off-site and out of bounds of the cybersecurity system of the company, it is far more challenging to take care of their cyber safety.
Here are some of the common cybersecurity risks of people working remotely.
Basic physical security practices are not observed. Imagine you are in a café or a restaurant talking on the phone with your boss about business matters. It helps a lot when you lower your voice and not allow everyone to hear what you’re going to say. Other people do not have to know what you’re doing, and you certainly do not want potential hackers to hear what kind of client information your company has in possession. Your laptop screen does not have to be exposed as well for all the people to take a peak.
Weak passwords are still a thing. Creating strong passwords have been taught to us ever since the internet began. Not everyone can remember a password that has a lot of special characters in it so some people store their passwords where they can get caught lying around which actually defeats the purpose.
Accessing sensitive data through an unsecured wifi connection. Employees working from home have to access their home network which is highly vulnerable to hacker exploitations and cybercrimes. Higher risks go to those who are travelling for work, as they need to use the public wireless network. Hotspots in coffee shops, restaurants, airports, and malls expose users might be very useful that business owners are doing a favour to their clients but it could be that network security is the least of their priorities.
The most common threat in this setting is the Man-in-the-Middle attacks (MitM). This is a form of eavesdropping that happens during data transmission. For example, when a computer connects to the internet, data is sent from Point A (computer) to Point B (website). Attackers would get in between these points and gather information from the transmitted data.
Using personal devices for work-related activities. Work computers are usually configured to meet certain security requirements that personal computers do not have. However, most organisations are not prepared for the work-from-home setup they allowed employees to use their personal devices. Some employers even implemented the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy without a concrete plan on how to maintain company security.
Personal devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks in so many ways. While lost and stolen devices can implicate much bigger problems, not everyone is keen on updating their software. This makes sensitive data accessible to hackers. Plus, if the hackers are after the company data, why not gather some personal data while they are there, right?
Unencrypted file sharing happens more often than not. Employees share sensitive files and private data all the time—from client account information to company information which is a lot of fortune for cybercriminals. While encrypting stored data is a good practice, it is also not a bad thing to remind employees to encrypt the files they are sending to lessen the chance of being intercepted while it is in transit.
Working from home exposes employees to a lot of cyberattacks but this does not mean there is nothing that can be done to prevent these malicious attacks. Basic safety measures can go a long way, and if done on a regular basis, they can keep you and your data safe and secured.
Here are some of the best practices that can be done.
Enhance your home wireless network security. It is always best to take extra precautions even in your home wireless network. Usually, we would just change the password of our wi-fi connection to prevent our neighbours from accessing our network and controlling our data. Now that we are working from home and it might be the case for a while, it’s time to take additional precautionary measures. Updating the router firmware, updating the router administrator login credentials, and using a guest network for your visitors are just some of the basic steps you can take to ensure the security of your home network.
Invest in a VPN. One of the most essential elements of keeping data and personal information safe is using a VPN. This is especially true when you are using less secure networks like Wi-Fi in coffee shops, hotels, and airports. While you’re at it, you might also want to use a VPN that provides multi-factor authentication as it adds more levels of security. Multi-factor authentication is also recommended in accessing sensitive data and private information.
Update your passwords frequently. This is extremely useful, regardless of whether it is for work or personal accounts that need passwords as protection. There are some accounts of software that reminds you, or even requires you to update your passwords every three months or so and make sure to take advantage of that. Password generators are recommended to create strong ones but if they seem to be a bit complicated to memorise, try to come up with something that’s a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
Keep your software and operating systems updated. Updates, especially that of the operating system can take several minutes and most of us do not have the patience or even the time to do so. However, it is extremely important that we take this step whenever necessary because outdated versions of software have potential vulnerabilities which can make it easier for hackers and cybercriminals to do their job.
Keep work data on work computers as much as possible. Huge organisations have efficient IT teams which may have installed security updates on your work computers. While using multiple devices at work can help increase your efficiency and productivity, you may be exposing your work data to risk by using your personal devices for work matters. Always make sure that you are using your work computer in accessing sensitive work data.
Most companies these days have a chunk of their workforce in the remote setup, and it looks like the situation is not going to change anytime soon. Thus, it is time to dust off and update their cybersecurity system. Here are some of the security measures organisations can follow.
Enforcing a data security policy. Intentional internal security breaches can happen anytime, but we all know it is more likely that an employee could just carelessly handle sensitive data by mistake. Create a policy document that clearly states the security protocols that employees need to comply with, along with the consequences in the cases of non-compliance. It also helps to explain to the employees the importance of their compliance. Have them sign the document and make sure to hold them accountable for it.
Provide the right tools and technology to your employees. Now that the employees are bound to comply with the company’s cybersecurity policies, the organisations must ensure that their workers have the right tools and the technology to remain compliant. VPN, password manager, and anti-virus software are just some of the basic cybersecurity tools that can prevent breaches and cyber threats.
Always update the company’s network security systems. Firewalls, anti-virus software, and spam filtering tools are nice must-haves in employee devices, thus it is vital that these are frequently updated. Outdated software can cause vulnerabilities and therefore it is more prone to threats.
Control the use of personal devices. There are organisations that implement the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. While this can help with the employees’ productivity and efficiency, this can potentially expose sensitive data to threats, as personal devices do not have enough security features.
Conduct cybersecurity training for employees and provide uncompromising IT support. In the end, none of these will be effective if employees are unaware of the objectives of these measures. Robust security measures start with proper training and awareness, thus make sure to conduct these. Also, make sure that the IT department is always available to provide assistance to remote workers with cybersecurity-related concerns.
Remote working is here to stay, and companies are left with either starting to adjust their policies and upgrade their systems or be ultimately left behind. As remote working proves to increase productivity, organisations should also make sure that they have a cybersecurity infrastructure robust enough to protect their workforce from cyber threats and other related issues.
As more and more companies continue to strengthen their digital fortress, you might be interested in starting your career in cybersecurity. Sign up for our Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) and gain foundational knowledge in info-comm technology and cybersecurity training that can help you kickstart a career in the realm of modern technologies.
Not sure which cybersecurity job you’d like to start with, check out our blog post on jobs in cybersecurity.
A few years ago, some business owners were still having second thoughts and wondering if digitalisation is truly a necessity for their businesses. These doubts must have been suppressed over the past couple of years as we experienced a global health crisis. As we are all forced to stay home, businesses need to take major steps and undergo major disruption in order to stay relevant in their respective industry. Transactions are now done online, products are sold in virtual shopping stores, and advertisements are flashed on our mobile phones.
We have reached the era where pretty much everything is done online. Digital transformation is bound to happen regardless of whether we like it or not, and the pandemic just rushed it up. While businesses are following each other’s suits, they are also considering the two major business essentials in digitalisation—digital marketing and cyber security.
The concept of digital marketing has been there ever since the invention of the internet. E-commerce boomed over the years and it wasn’t a threat to the physical stores until a few years ago and is one of the major effects of Covid-19 in businesses. Online transactions offered convenience, thus people spend more time on the internet than ever, and the consumption of digital content significantly increased. Many organisations took advantage of this, making their digital marketing strategies much stronger for the benefit of their business.
The power of social media proved to be the digital marketers’ advantage as well. After all, it is the best way to reach their target audience. While people initially signed up for Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok to connect with friends and engage themselves in social interactions, they are also there to check out new products, read reviews, and see how brands interact with their consumers as well as their competitors.
Cyber security used to be an industry focused on government agencies and financial institutions. However, the flourishing digital economy paved the way for it to be an essential part of the digital transformation across all industries. All businesses, big and small, are highly recommended to implement cyber security measures. As everything else transforms into digital, a huge amount of sensitive data is transmitted back and forth through the internet. These data can be intercepted by cyber hackers, resulting in unfavourable outcomes.
Cyber security attacks can be expensive (PDPA, the costs of loss and other damages, etc.), and so there is not enough reason for organisations to impede their cyber security programme especially if most of their business transactions are done online, and they hold sensitive information of their clients, products, and services (finance, health, and retail industries).
While cyber security systems should cover the entirety of business operations, from backend to frontend, one of the most crucial aspects of business that needs heightened security is digital marketing. Not many people are aware of this, but cyber security and digital marketing go hand in hand.
Here are some of the aspects of digital marketing that need cyber security:
The website is the most essential aspect of a digitalised business. In digital marketing, websites are where blog posts can be seen and read by the consumers–content on why they need a product in their everyday lives, or how a service changed someone’s life. It is where Google takes the consumer if they look up a brand on the internet.
It is the place where people check out products, read reviews, and find more information about the brand. In the retail business, it is basically the online version of the physical store where people enter their name, email address, birth date, and credit card information to buy a product or avail of a service.
There is no wonder that websites are heavily targeted by cyber hackers. They can flood your website with an enormous amount of traffic that can potentially break your server and your website, infiltrate the data that is being entered on the website, and steal sensitive information from your database. There are a lot of malicious activities that can happen which makes cyber security a necessity.
Email marketing is probably the oldest form of digital marketing, but it still proves to be one of the most effective ways to promote a business. Unfortunately, this is also the favourite method of cyber hackers in delivering malware. They simply imitate the email format from legitimate organisations and the type of attack will depend on the kind of information they received.
This is crucial for digital marketers because they frequently interact with potential customers and even with hackers disguised as customers. Cyber security awareness, along with training on how to spot a phishing email is recommended to come into play. Installing spam filters in the email system can also help in keeping these kinds of threats at bay.
With more than 2 billion active users per month, Facebook is the most famous social network worldwide, followed by Instagram with 1.2 billion active users per month. With this number of people on social media, marketing on these platforms could be just an easy feat. Sadly, these platforms can also be infested by hackers waiting to attack. Social media accounts for business is more vulnerable than personal ones simply because there are multiple people accessing the account and they share the login information.
Social media accounts need to be kept safe from cybercriminals, especially these days when the platforms have started adding shopping features to their sites (e.g. Facebook Marketplace). Plus, these hijackers cannot just steal information from the accounts – they can also get hold of the login credentials and upload offensive content on the pages and demand payment to stop the harassment. It can be a much more expensive event compared to getting a social media management tool to handle all social media tasks and educate the marketing team about the potential danger brought by unsolicited social media messages, especially those that contain links.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)software is important in digital marketing – it is used to collect data from the customers, analyse it, and come up with an effective digital marketing strategy through it. Sometimes, it is used to automate some of the digital marketing activities. As it contains customer information, you wouldn’t want the hackers to get access to your CRM software. It is going to be an expensive scenario, plus, you could lose the reputation of your business.
While breaches frequently happen inside the job, careless mistakes can also occur. Access to the CRM software should be limited to certain employees, and tracking tools should be used whenever someone logs in to the system. These can also be performed by the cyber security team as well.
Customer information is precious
Obtaining customer data is an important aspect of digital marketing. One might think that these are just numbers, but when interpreted, they are highly valuable to the company. Having knowledge of consumer behaviour, and obtaining the information about what they want and what they need, the company can strategise well so that these consumers can be transformed into actual customers. This is the reason why digital marketers are one of the sought-after professionals in any given industry. The digital transformation also created the need for digital marketing.
The Risk of Brand Damage
Cyberattacks are not just expensive, it also has the great risk of damaging your brand. It also has significant effects on consumer perception. If you experience a cyberattack that shut down your website (DDoS – Distributed Denial of Service), potential customers might think twice about patronising your brand and doubt your overall competence. Besides, who would want to provide their personal information to an institution that does not have the capability to take care of it?
Keep in mind that not all social media hackers are after the money. Some of them just find a thrill in destroying brands by hijacking their business profiles, uploading obscene materials to the page, and even sending offensive messages to potential customers. Granted that this is not the company’s own doing, but it essentially allowed it to happen because of the lack of cybersecurity measures.
Digital marketing is powerful in so many ways. It can influence the consumer, guide them to the products and services that they need, provide them with a personal connection, and make the consumer feel empowered. It is likewise dangerous because as a digital marketer, you are also a guardian of sensitive data which can make or break your brand. Fortunately, you can avoid the dangerous side by working with cyber security professionals.
If you are interested in becoming a digital marketer, sign up for our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy and learn the highly industry-relevant digital marketing skillsets that are immediately transferable to the workplace.
If you are more on the protective side and would rather be at the backend, our Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) is for you. Signing up for this course will provide you with foundational knowledge in info-comm technology and cyber security training that can help you kickstart a career in the realm of modern technologies.
When you hear the words “content marketing”, you’d probably think that you are getting the idea of what it is, but have not really had the chance to ask anyone about it. Content marketing is a strategy that has been used for ages most people probably know what and how it works, but what is it exactly? How does it help the marketers in meeting their goals and objectives?
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:
“a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Let us take note of the keyword: valuable. This is what sets content marketing apart from other forms of advertising. The main objective is to provide as much valuable information as possible to your audience. With the digital transformation happening, marketers now have the option to become publishers of their own content rather than paying for other people’s media. Creating and distributing content that consumers find useful and relevant helps in increasing brand awareness. As the consumers move through the sales funnel, your content can also help in building a trusting relationship between them and your brand. Needless to say, content marketing is the least expensive form of marketing strategy, although it has a slower start because you have to grow your content library and reach more consumers.
Now that we have a much clearer definition of what content marketing is, let us take a look at what content marketing looks like. We are seeing all types of advertisements every day, but not all of them are considered content marketing. Always remember the keyword—valuable. It has to be useful for the audience so that they consume it, and eventually trust your brand that it can provide products and services relevant to their everyday life. Here are some examples of what content marketing looks like.
Blog posts. Creating blog posts is one of the most helpful but cost-effective types of content marketing. Instead of writing about your products and how they changed the lives of so many people, blog about the topics related to your products or services. There is no need for you to convince people that you provide the best products—all you have to do is provide something new and valuable, and provide genuine impact to your audience. After all, your SEO would be more effective if you are going to publish quality content consistently.
Infographics. These are long vertical images that contain charts, graphs, statistics and other relevant information. What’s so good with infographics is that they can be posted both on social media and at the same time be incorporated in blog posts. The main objective of infographics is to convert a lot of different information into bite-size pieces.
Videos. Video content has been there—probably even before YouTube started. However, its popularity has noticeably increased due to the rise of Tiktok. Many content marketers are now including videos in their marketing strategy—a whopping 93% of them attest that this move is essential as video marketing trends for 2021 look promising.
Podcasts. Podcasts can be a bit demanding when it comes to getting the right equipment and preparation, but it appears to be extremely rewarding and beneficial for digital marketers. Podcasts are also tremendously helpful in terms of awareness for brands that have speciality niches and markets that are a challenge to penetrate. What’s more, podcasts can also be repurposed by slicing the material and creating evergreen content.
Social media content. Social media content might look like the easiest content to create, but keep in mind that this is all about getting your audience to look and directly respond to your content. As social media is probably where a huge part of your audience hangs out, you would want them to engage with your posts as much as possible. The easy part comes when you have already determined which type of content your audience would want to consume. Do they engage more on videos, infographics, or blog posts? Once you’ve identified their interests and triggers, you can repurpose the other marketing content that you have produced.
It may appear to be a lot of work, but the content is at the centre of every single digital marketing strategy. Content marketing helps build your online reputation as a brand while your audience is provided with a variety of valuable and useful content. Here are some important reasons why you should invest in content marketing.
Obtain website traffic with strong intent
IMPACT: Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors.
Google’s number one goal has always been to provide its searchers with the information they need. So its algorithm is designed to look behind the searcher’s query and provide relevant content that matches the search terms. As you improve your SEO efforts, your blog posts landing pages and other web content will appear on the top of search results—the place where searchers are more likely to click.
Encourages the customers to trust your brand’s credibility
Demand Metric: 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
In today’s sales cycle, customers’ trust is one of the many essential factors. If your audience does not trust what they see, they most likely turn away from your brand and avoid you. Through your content, you’d be providing them with useful content and valuable advice on a certain topic free of charge. As you build your content library, you are also building the trust of the consumers because they are finally seeing your credibility and expertise which will influence their purchasing decisions.
The return on investment looks promising if you are consistent in providing content
Demand Metric: 6 out of 10 are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.
Content marketing is not just about building your brand’s reputation and consumer trust, nor about building your content library or increased website traffic. There is an actual return of investment that we are after in content marketing. Content marketing can generate more leads compared to other traditional marketing, and it can actually increase your direct sales.
It brings your brand closer to the consumers.
Demand Metric: 7 out of 10 consumers feel closer to a company as a result of content marketing.
With social media making it easier for everyone to get connected, there’s no wonder that people cannot relate to those that they cannot connect with. Consumers in the digital age require personal connection—they want to feel closer and therefore opt for brands that reach out to them on a personal level. This can be achieved through content marketing. Custom content gives the feeling that you are speaking personally to your audience.
Now that you’ve learned more about content marketing and why it is important, let us dive into the steps on how to create a content marketing strategy.
Determine your goals. You should have a solid and long-term goal on why you are creating your content. Do you want to improve the customer experience? Generate leads? Build customer relationships? It doesn’t matter what your goal is as long as they are sustainable and long-term. Remember that creating content for the sake of content should never be your goal.
Identify what will set your content apart. Thousands of companies are producing different content each day. That is a lot of content for your audience to consume, and a lot of content to compete with. Determine what will make your content stand out. Competition might be tough but hey, if your content is useful, educates, entertains, inspires, and motivates then you are really on top of your game. Keep in mind that you are allowed to make your story bigger.
Measure your content marketing. Make sure that you understand how to measure the effectiveness of the strategy. Create metrics that are easy to track and can help you determine if your content marketing strategy actually works according to your goal. Here are the 4 metrics where you can start.
Determine your audience. To be able to create effective content, you need to identify and understand the behaviour of your audience. You need to know what are their interests, what are the things that appeal to them, their jobs, and probably what you think they’re doing if they’re not at work (hobbies?). This way, it is easier for you to decide what type of marketing content you can focus on.
Know the needs of your audience. Apparently, it is not enough that you know what kind of audience you have—you also need to identify what they need and provide that need through your content. A lot of consumers have unstated needs, questions that they do not openly ask which Google keyword search can definitely tell you. It is not enough that you meet your objective, it is equally important to cater to the needs of your consumers.
Make the most of what you have. Building a content library might be a good thing, but with the amount of content we consume every day, it would be wiser to make the most of what you have. Reuse and repurpose your old content, create a new one out of curated content, or you can even ask the members of your social media community for content ideas.
Create a content calendar. A content calendar is a huge help in achieving consistency. It is to make sure you have a piece of information to provide to your consumers each day, or when needed.
Content marketing is one of the essential careers in digital marketing, as a huge part of the entire digital marketing strategy relies on content. It is therefore important that you strategise your content to maximise the favourable results it brings to your brand, and to your organisation. If you have a budget allocation for digital marketing, it is also best if you include SEM as it is one of the strategies for more effective content marketing.
Digital marketing is a rapidly growing industry, with various career growth and opportunities to offer. If you are curious about digital marketing and want to learn more, our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy course offers highly industry-relevant digital marketing skillsets that are immediately transferable to the workplace. Click this link if you want to learn more about the course and download the brochure.
Do you want to find out if you are fit for digital marketing? Read our article on why you shouldn’t be a digital marketer right here and see what qualities you should have as a digital marketer.
The past ten years paved the way for major transformations and digital innovations, and this resulted in the birth of a new kind of marketing professional—data-driven and growth-minded digital marketers who take charge of increasing website traffic, hitting revenue targets, and expanding growth numbers. No wonder they are the most sought-after professionals by the best companies in any given field.
Although some digital marketers only have a skill or two, acquiring multiple digital marketing skills will allow you to be on top of your game. Remember that digital marketing is a rapidly evolving industry where trends are constantly changing, so it’s a great idea to develop and master these four digital marketing skills at the least:
To get a better understanding of these skills, read on.
The ultimate goal of digital marketing is to grow your business and to achieve this, you must first attract paying customers. Content marketing is designed to do just that.
Some people automatically think of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, and YouTube when they hear the words “content marketing”. While it has some truth in it, content marketing has been around for as long as we can remember. This is because content marketing has always been about telling stories and all of us would listen to someone who has the greatest story to tell.
The Content Marketing Institute defined content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
We must say that this is a solid definition, but let us focus on the words, valuable, relevant, and consistent. It says it requires consistency which makes it a long-term strategy, and the goal is to gain your audience’s trust in your brand and products and services. You work on this goal by providing content to your audience that is not only high-quality but also something that they find valuable and relevant to their everyday lives.
When your customers decide to spend their hard-earned money on purchasing your product, it means that you have already gained their trust. So your next goal is to keep them closer and nurture this relationship. Since you are providing them with useful content, they go back for more. It makes them feel that you are paying attention to their needs and that you are resonating well with their lifestyle.
Content comes in various forms and it appears in almost all places. The internet is an endless space, and you don’t know where your target audience hangs out most of the time. Are they usually on social media? Do they love reading long articles? Or are they more attracted to short-form videos? The thing is, wherever they may be spending most of their internet time, it is also important to know these things so that you know what form of storytelling will appeal the most to your audience.
To put it in simple terms, SEO or search engine optimisation means enhancing your content or website to make it appear on the top part of Google search results. This is basically what you do with your blog post content so that your audience will see it. Now, for this digital marketing skill to be effective, you need to first understand how the Google algorithm works. No one knows how it works exactly—all we know is that there are three stages that your website or content has to go through before it reaches your audience.
First stage: Crawling. Google bots (also known as spiders) crawl the internet and look for new and updated web pages. If your content has a lot of links to it, the bots find it easier to locate. Thus, it is important that Google knows that your content is out there on the internet.
Second stage: Indexing. After Google discovers these new links and web pages, its next process is to analyse what are these pages about based on the content, images, videos, and other media files on the page. It will then store this information in a huge database called Google index.
Third stage: Serving. In this stage, the pages are ranked based on their relevance and helpfulness for a specific keyword search.
People search for things online for various reasons, but it all boils down to just two things—they want to know something, or they want to solve a problem. Google made it a mission to provide a great customer experience by giving them what they need exactly. So if you search for “cheap quality shoes near me”, it won’t just give you the best quality shoes, or the least expensive shoes you can find. It will give you the least expensive shoes of great quality and the store near you where you can buy them. Therefore, your content should do the same thing so that Google will show it first to its customers. This also makes your content writing skills put into practice. As Bill Gates said in 1996, content is king.
The evolution of social media for the past decade is something that most of us have seen happen before our eyes. From being just a simple way to connect to our family and friends, it is now being used by businesses—SMEs and huge enterprises alike—to introduce their products and services to a wide variety of audiences. Thus, social media marketing is born.
Social media marketing is an essential aspect of your digital marketing strategy for a variety of important reasons. Here are some of them:
Many organisations today are keen on hiring their own digital marketers for these reasons. Make it your reason to develop your social media marketing skills.
If you love math and numbers, there is also something for you to do in digital marketing—data analytics. Simply put, this is where you transform raw data into actionable insights. The digital transformation gave us the ability to collect data that may help us in our business, but we need someone who would interpret the data otherwise it is good for nothing. Skills in data analytics include the ability to identify patterns and pinpoint the information that mere observers would otherwise miss.
Here are some of the reasons why data analytics is important in digital marketing:
It can be a challenge to keep up in a fast-changing industry like digital marketing. There is always something new to learn, and a wide array of opportunities offered. However, if you have a growth mindset, and you are the type of person that is keen to get the job done, then there is nothing to worry about staying on top of the game.
Enhance your digital marketing skills mentioned above (and more) by signing up for our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing & Campaign Strategy. It provides highly-relevant digital marketing skillsets that are immediately transferable to the workplace.
Internet will always be with us—it continues to evolve to provide us with the convenience we all desire in this modern world. The bad news is that many people would want to take advantage of this and aim for destruction for their own personal gain. The good news, there is a way to combat the bad guys and it also meant an opportunity to most of us.
It’s called cyber security.
Cyber security is vital to businesses and organisations that hold crucial data and sensitive information and use computer systems. Needless to say, almost all companies from all industries use computer systems and rely on the internet for communication and major transactions with their clients. No doubt, digital transformation has done quite a lot of progress in the economy.
So what is cyber security, and why do companies need it? Most importantly, what are the top industries that are in dire need of cyber security experts? Read on to find out.
Kaspersky defines cyber security as the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks.
Imagine you are going on a vacation with your family and you need to leave your house unattended for a few days. Of course, you are not just going to leave your house susceptible to burglars and thieves. You will install safety locks, even alarms and security cameras to ensure that no one can enter your house and steal your valuables while you are away.
The same concept goes with cyber security. Organisations usually hold sensitive data that could cause millions worth of liabilities if it ends up in the wrong hands. Therefore, they need to take necessary measures to safeguard private information. This is where cyber security takes place. This field has various categories of which coordination within the organisation is important in order to attain the success of the entire cyber security program.
Here are the categories:
Network security. This is to make sure that the company’s computer network is safe from malicious intruders and malware.
Application security. This focuses on keeping the cyber threats away from software and devices. Applications that are compromised can be harmful in the sense that they can make data vulnerable to unwanted access. Application security usually happens during the design stage, before the device of the software is used.
Information security. This section is responsible for protecting the sensitive data that the company possesses, both in storage and in transit.
Operational security. Processes and decisions in handling and protecting the data assets of the company fall in this category. This is where the decision on user permissions, network access, and storage of data takes place.
Disaster recovery and business continuity. This section is essential as this determines how an organisation handles cyber security incidents or situations that may cause operations or data loss. It covers disaster recovery policies that determine how the company will return to operations and the information to return to its original operating capacity. It also covers the business continuity plan—the organisation’s fallback as it tries to operate with missing resources.
End-user education. People are deemed the most unpredictable cyber security factor, as they can potentially introduce a virus to a secure network system by failing to follow good security measures. End-user education’s responsibility is to remind people to perform security protocols from time to time such as avoiding plugging unknown storage devices, deleting suspicious email attachments, and other activities that can harm the company’s security network.
Digital transformation has brought us the need to be connected to the internet almost all the time. May it be for work, school, or even personal matters, the internet provides the access to everything we need. As powerful as it is, it also has vulnerabilities and this is what we need to be aware of. No one wants their personal and sensitive information to end up in the wrong hands, and that’s the main goal of cyber security – to protect us from cyber threats.
There used to be a time when it was only the government offices that required cyber security. These days, however, almost all sectors in the economy are highly recommended to have a sophisticated cyber security system. Here are the top industries that need cyber security practices the most:
Financial services. We all know this—financial institutions have everything that cybercriminals are after. They are packed with valuable information directly related to money, making them the most lucrative victims of cyber threats at theft. Banks are their favourite, and there probably isn’t a major bank today that has not been exposed to a cyber-attack.
Shared banking systems and third-party organisations are at a greater risk these days as banks heighten their cyber security systems. These networks should be as protected as the banks, otherwise, the attackers can still gain access to the banks through them, making the entire system pointless.
Furthermore, more and more consumers are using online banking these days because it is more convenient and the pandemic requires people to stay at home as much as they can. This also means that people are more vulnerable to hackers, to the point that they are no longer trying to penetrate the network. They are now targeting mobile applications and the users themselves. While banks continue to remind consumers of the basic cyber security protocols, many users still tend to use minimal to no security at all, and that’s why they are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Healthcare. One might think that there is nothing that can be gained by peeking through confidential files of sick people, but in reality, private patient information is worth a huge sum of money to cyber attackers who can sell it quite easily. They can also hold these patient data “hostage” by employing encryption so that no one can access the files and a “ransom” is demanded to provide access (also known as ransomware).
It is vital that hospitals and other healthcare facilities take their cyber security seriously. Financial penalties can be a pain for those that are already struggling—whether they be fines for violating PDPA or paying a huge amount to retrieve their data from ransomware. While there could be some scenario wherein the data was accidentally accessed by an unauthorised party, they can potentially alter the information and this can jeopardise patient safety and care delivery.
Cyber-attacks can cause a huge disruption in the healthcare industry—doctors won’t be able to access patients’ data which can result in fatal medical errors, hospitals might need to temporarily cease operation because of information system issues, and worse of all, healthcare providers can suffer massive financial loss.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Small businesses in e-commerce went on the rise last year, with the pandemic raging and everyone needs to stay at home. It was an opportunity for some people to make money out of their hobbies, or out of other people’s necessities. Unfortunately, it also became an opportunity for cyber attackers to extort money from them. Small businesses are more vulnerable than huge brands because they usually do not have enough resources to invest in a more advanced cyber security infrastructure. It can cause a huge blow to the business, especially when it’s the customer’s personal information and details that are compromised. Consumers no longer trust a company when a major breach occurs.
Most small businesses have taken steps further to ensure digital security. They mostly rely on third-party companies that provide more than just basic cyber security, from professionals that are more capable of working on it.
Higher education. For the cyber attackers, financial opportunities are everywhere and this also includes educational institutions. Just like healthcare providers, universities and colleges are packed with important information and documents from credit card details to government-issued IDs, and private contact information. What’s more, educational records can also be sold to people who are trying to change their identity (identity theft), or to those who are trying to get hold of better employment opportunities by falsifying school records.
Schools have a huge amount of online activity, which can easily be manipulated even through the most basic hacking technique (see Social Network). Students can even hack the system to change their grades or delete a specific record. It might sound like this is not a huge deal, but it can be quite a big one if not dealt with early on.
Data breaches are present everywhere. When we think that digital transformation is here to stay, cyber attackers are not going anywhere either. As companies seek to improve their cyber security infrastructure, it provides more employment opportunities for people in the cyber security industry. Thus, if you have been thinking about starting your cybersecurity career, this is the perfect time for you to do so. Not sure where to start? Check out our Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security (Advanced Standing) course to properly equip yourself in the realm of modern technologies.
Want to know more about what kinds of jobs you can perform in the cyber security industry? Read our blog about jobs in cybersecurity.
Wondering how much you can potentially earn? Check out How Much Does a Cyber Security Professional Earn right here.
Leadership is a concept that goes a long way back—and there have been many different definitions of what a good leader is supposed to be. Over the centuries, business leaders have struggled with various challenges brought by inevitable changes in the economy and the innovation of technology. With this being said, it should constantly be on their agenda to strategise and come up with plans that would allow them and their team members to stay focused and motivated despite the disruption. To be this kind of leader, one must have a growth mindset.
If leadership then and now has one prominent distinction, we could say that traditional leaders are more results-oriented. They live by the numbers. These business leaders look for basic qualities in their team members such as intelligence and talent—qualities that cannot be transformed and developed. Needless to say, they have a fixed mindset.
Leaders with a fixed mindset are way too focused on the results that when the target is not met, they easily get frustrated and think of it as a failure. They would tend to interpret it as a waste of time and without recognizing the opportunity to learn and grow. Leaders with a fixed mindset inevitably hurt not only the leadership itself but also the team that they lead. Some of the implications of fixed mindset leadership are:
On the other hand, leaders with a growth mindset do the exact opposite. They are delighted to see their team members grow and expand their talents and create a culture of accountability.
Leaders with a growth mindset often see opportunities for their team members, even in times of crisis. The pandemic is a perfect example of a huge challenge that tested out their leadership skills to the extreme. As growth leaders, they saw this as an opportunity to grow, be proactive, and be accountable. Let’s talk about the implications of a growth leader:
Some leaders may not agree with the idea of developing and adopting a growth mindset. They are still in the belief that talent and skills are permanent and there isn’t really a chance for people to change. Leaders with a fixed mindset can still be successful in some ways, but they tend to build a highly stressful culture in the workplace.
Digital transformation has proven this wrong—the disruption we all experienced during the pandemic and the solutions provided to us by digital technology are enough proof that people can develop and acquire other sets of skills. We need the ability to adapt, and it is imperative to develop this skill as fast as we can if we want to keep our jobs and stay relevant. This is just one of the many reasons why growth mindset leadership is important.
Let’s dive into some other reasons why you should have a growth mindset as a leader.
Change is inevitable. As the saying goes, nothing is constant in this world except change, and true enough, we have witnessed a lot of changes happen before our eyes, especially from the business perspective. It is a challenge to accept changes and forever forget your comfort zone, let alone adapt to a new environment. Although, if you have a growth mindset, transitions and changes are just going to be another day in your life as a leader. What’s more, it’ll also be easier for your team members to adapt as they can see it happening right from the top.
A motivated team means a productive one, too. You see—when your team is motivated and inspired, they are more likely to produce desirable results. They might come up with ways on how to make their work easier so they can perform more important tasks. They are not afraid to experiment and take risks because there are only two things they believe can happen: another learning and growth opportunity, or a successful project that benefits not only the team but the entire organisation.
You are building a healthy culture in the workplace. A great culture in the workplace is equally important. We want our team to feel excited, driven, and happy so that they won’t think twice about giving their best to the company. We want them to enjoy what they are doing at work. We want them to feel empowered and trusted. This might sound very ideal and employee-oriented but this is going to be a reflection of your brand identity in the long run. Happy employees mean happy customers, and indeed, a successful company desired by many.
A growth mindset expands possibilities for all. As a leader with a growth mindset, you become accountable for your own growth and evolution. This provides you with more opportunities not only as a leader but in other aspects of your career. The same thing goes for your team—they will find various opportunities for growth. This is a huge win for the company because as its people grow and succeed, it will also do so.
As we have talked about its importance, you might be wondering how are you going to train yourself to be an individual with a growth mindset. Of course, this mindset does not just apply to leaders, but also to those who aspire to become one in their respective careers and industries. Here’s how you can train yourself to adopt a growth mindset.
Embrace changes. We are in a world that’s rapidly changing, and the basic step toward growth is to accept the changes around you and adapt to them. Keep in mind that adapting to change is not just learning about the new tools or the latest technological advancement, it also means changing yourself, your team, and even the structure and systems of your company.
Practice self-awareness. For you to grow and change, it is essential to first understand your objectives. Assess yourself—what are your strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and even your emotional status. By knowing these things about yourself, you can equip yourself with the necessary learnings and explore opportunities. It will also help you in making sound decisions for your team and also for the entire organisation.
Be the game-changer. We all acknowledge the challenge that sudden changes bring. The good news is, that there is something we can do to combat this. Do not wait for the change to come, make the change yourself. Whether it is about technology, a new strategy, or a change in the system, be the one to create the change.
Disrupt yourself. Routines are great, but it is also a good thing to change your habits and disrupt yourself from time to time. Ask yourself what are the habits and practices in your life that need to be disrupted even a little bit. What are the strategies that used to work for you but now provide you with different outcomes? What can you do to focus your time, energy, and efforts on more important goals? The answers to these questions and the steps you are going to do about them are what will drive you to growth.
Appreciate and reward both learning and failure. When you are running a business, you are bound to fail. Having a growth mindset means learning from these failures and treating them as growth opportunities. It is essential that this can be seen by your team so that they are also motivated to push their boundaries and dare to experiment with innovative changes.
Nurturing a growth mindset is a continuous process. Your mindset is always a work in progress, and so is growth. Learning has no end, and therefore you should always make time to learn new things and encourage your team to do the same.
A growth mindset allows you to stay on top of the game, whether you are currently a leader or aspiring to be one. It provides you and your team the right confidence, as well as a competitive edge in your respective industry. If there are various leaders in your organisation, this is the time for you to change the old system and encourage them to adopt the modern leadership mindset.
If you want to acquire the skills of a modern leader, our Leadership and People Management course provides the exact tools you need to acquire the skills of a leader with a growth mindset. The course explores the essential facets of leadership and is designed to provide a leadership development roadmap that can help you keep up with the latest trends and practices which makes it perfect for you and the leaders of your organisation.
Click here to find out more about the course.
Need more materials about modern leadership? Listen to our podcast episode on Soft Skills for Leadership Success or read our blog on Becoming a Digital Leader to know more about the skills you need as a leader in the digital age.