GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Millions of people in 2017 had their personal information compromised in company data breaches.
Here's the reality: every company, no matter the size, is at risk of a breach. That means cyber security is an in-demand career.
Brown County's Chief Information and Security Officer, August Neverman, tracks attempted cyber attacks. He tells us that on a given day, there are six million attacks per hour.
Dots indicating these attempted attacks pop up on his computer screen.
"This is showing who the attacker is, the time, and who's being attacked," Neverman says.
He continues, "We got anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 attacks per day."
That's why Neverman is always learning.
"They're attacking in more unique ways," he says. "We think they're attacking businesses or a bank. They're attacking people. They want your business ID, your email, or your password, because unfortunately, a lot of us use the same password."
As attacks grow, more people are needed in positions to defend companies and their information.
Over the next five years, there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers, according to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education,
There is 13 percent job growth in our area, according to a study by NEW IT Alliance. The study shows 3,000 new IT positions that could go unfilled.
And that could be costly.
A recent report from the Better Business Bureau shows half of all small businesses couldn't stay profitable more than a month if they lost critical data in a cyber attack.
"The problem is there's not a lot of people out there with these skills so there's not a lot of people out there to hire," says Joe Cicero, NWTC Network Specialist, Instructor.
Cicero says NWTC saw the need. The school now offers a two-year IT Security Technology Degree.
"We've targeted our program to teach students the skills to help run those programs," Cicero says. "Secure the network and get them up to speed faster."
First-year student Joshua Derpinhaus is only months into classes, but already understands the extra job security he could have.
"It means I'll probably find a job that I'll actually like, and if I don't like it I'll probably be able to find another job pretty easily," Derpinhaus says.
Cicero says, "I had a company come in. They wanted several students. We had an internship program here. They interviewed all students, chose two students, started at $60,000 a year."
Rewards come with risks.
"The final challenge for most people getting involved in cyber security is I have to be right 100 percent of the time, the bad guys only have to get it right once," Neverman says.
Neverman's message: "Be prepared to learn a lot and continue learning. It's not going to stop."
The job is staying one step ahead of cyber criminals.
"This is a position that's important for all companies because they're all dealing with potential breaches," Cicero says.
NEW IT Alliance is hosting the region's first Information Technology Career and Job Fair on Nov. 7, 2017, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The fair will be held at Fox Valley Technical College. Click here to learn more.