Page 41 - Cybersecurity Career Guide for Alexandria College
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    Mastercard Operations & Technology Hub in St. Louis, MO
 up, or damage data, or disrupt services. “We specialize in network security, cloud security, and security operations technologies,” Richardson-Sequeira explains. Their products range from fire- walls to software that scans for threats and automatically responds to attacks.
Companies like Palo Alto also do re- search. “Investigating trends is a huge part of our company,” she says. It has an entire unit that “regularly reports
on trends and other information related to the threat landscape.” Palo Alto researchers, for instance, recently reported that ransomware payment demands have soared 518 percent since 2020.
To be sure, most large companies and federal agencies have their own in-house cybersecurity teams (see page 38). But the job of combating cyber-
crimes is so huge, many still enlist the help of specialized companies. “No
one person can know it all,” Richardson- Sequeira says, “so it is easier to work together.” Jon Brickey, a senior VP at Mastercard, agrees, noting that the field is so diverse it requires a vast vari- ety of knowledge and technologies.
The industry is “critical,” he says. “We all have to rely on the innovations and effectiveness of these companies. They provide the products and services that protect the entire ecosystem of industry and government.”
Accordingly, the companies look to hire people from a wide range of back- grounds beyond computer engineering and computer science, including law, management, and marketing. Strong communications skills are also highly prized. Indeed, Richardson-Sequeira
ultimately earned a bachelor’s degree in English. “It’s not so much about the degree, but what you bring to the table. If you’re trying to break in, a lot of com- panies will train you.” One reason why companies offer training is to help fill positions. There’s a massive talent shortage and nearly 3 million jobs are open at any given time, Richardson- Sequeira says. “The competition for top talent is stiff.”
She admits cybersecurity isn’t easy work. Let’s face it, the threat levels never let up, so it’s go, go, go, go, all the time. “You absolutely have to be passionate and dedicated to do well
in this field.” Nevertheless, Richardson- Sequeira stresses that the work is also thrilling and satisfying. Which means it’s rewarding in every sense of the word.
Palo Alto Networks’ corporate campus in Palo Alto, CA

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