A person who wants to work in cybersecurity may wonder, “Does cybersecurity involve math?” It is important to know what courses are required for a degree in a major like Information Security. It is also a good idea to know which knowledge and skills are required in order to do the job of cybersecurity.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Cyber Security
Types of Math Used in Cybersecurity
There are many types of math used in cybersecurity. One type is Boolean algebra. This has to do with the values of variables telling the truth. For example, 0 may indicate false, and 1 indicates true. Computer codes are written in terms of 0 and 1, which is also referred to as binary code. Boolean algebra is a way of describing logical operations in mathematics. Another type of math involved in cybersecurity is complex numbers, which are a part of algebra and calculus. This includes the use of “i” for imaginary numbers. Cryptography is also used in cybersecurity. It is a type of math that uses a number to represent a letter of the alphabet.
How Math Is Used in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has many uses for different types of math. Boolean algebra is used for the creation of computer coding languages, such as Python. The Python language is as popular among cybersecurity specialists as it is among hackers. Complex numbers are used in algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. Cryptography is used in the sending of information. For example, a person may want to have their emails encrypted. Websites use encryption on their eCommerce platforms in order to protect credit and debit card details.
Mathematics Classes for a Career in Cybersecurity
A person who plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information research, programming or a related field should plan on taking algebra, logic, linear regression and calculus classes. They may also need to take differential equations, number theory, dynamical systems, game theory, information theory, and signal processing mathematics classes. Many employers prefer cybersecurity specialists to have a master’s degree in something such as business administration, which would include business math classes.
Math-related Skills for Cybersecurity
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, analytical skills are essential to a career in cybersecurity. While an information security professional might not have to perform complex calculations in their head or write them out on paper, they should be able to study computer systems and networks and use data in order to find weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Attention to detail is another math-related skill that is important in cybersecurity. The ability to solve problems with existing tools in a unique way is a key part of cybersecurity, and this is also related to the use of formulas and proofs in mathematics. A strong sense of logic, like what is used in Boolean algebra, is also helpful to people who work in cybersecurity.
Understanding the types of math involved in cybersecurity helps a person plan their college courses. A person could also spend some time studying different types of mathematics or honing their skills if they feel like they are not yet at the right level of knowledge. Knowing, “Does cybersecurity involve math?” is a good first step in deciding if a career in information security is right for a person’s skills, strengths, and preferences.