We hear a lot about cybersecurity and the attacks that seem to occur on a weekly basis. No career field has ever seemed to receive as much attention or to advance at such a rapid rate in recent memory. Today, a lot of people looking for a career are beginning to think about a career in cybersecurity. However, is that a sure bet?
The majority of the United States has experienced high demand for cybersecurity, and research indicates that this demand will only continue to rise in the near future. Employers anticipate a shortage of qualified cybersecurity specialists.
Why is there such a need for cybersecurity?
The need for qualified cybersecurity professionals is growing due to a number of factors in today’s society. The first is the staggering number of vulnerable devices that are currently online.
#1: There are an exponentially growing number of people and electronic devices that can be hacked online.
A little over ten years ago, Steve Jobs of Apple appeared on a stage in California and unveiled the first iPhone to the world. The term “smartphone” did not yet appear in our everyday vocabulary. Tens of billions of people now carry around cell phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, and smart watches, which have become popular since that time. These gadgets are all connected to the internet and contain some sort of personal information. Since they are online, anyone can connect to them and hack them. And we always carry our devices with us. A hacker or con artist now has many billions more potential targets to choose from.
Take into account the fact that IoT, or the Internet of Things, is already a reality and expanding. As a result, numerous televisions, air conditioning units, security cameras, and other devices are now online. They must be protected because they too can be attacked. The number of devices that are online is also growing as a result of these things.
It’s not just about the quantity of online devices; it’s also about the users. For the first time, people in developing nations now have access to connected technology. It is possible in some developing nations for someone to possess a cell phone before they have access to actual necessities like job opportunities.
#2: It is impossible to reduce our reliance on technology.
Would you be able or even willing to forgo having access to your device for a week? The majority of today’s youth cannot recall a time when there weren’t computers in almost every home or on mobile devices carried by everyone. The majority of people never leave the house without their phone. Our dependence on our connected devices has led to their integration into both our identities and daily lives. This indicates that not only are there more devices and users, but also that these users are using the devices more frequently.
Think about this for a second: How many customers would be able to pay with cash if your grocery store lost power or access to the credit card network at that time? How many transactions could the shop handle if the power went out for a week? How many prescriptions could the neighborhood pharmacy fill if they couldn’t access their computers for a week? Would they even be able to look up the medication you require? Due to the total reliance of our economy on technology, security is of utmost importance.
#3. Almost all financial transactions now take place online.
In the past, bank robbers targeted banks because that is where the money was, but today the majority of the money in banks is made up of 1s and 0s. The data system has now become the new target because it contains the majority of the money. Hacking a bank’s or retailer’s financial system is more profitable and less dangerous than trying to steal something from a physical location where there are many security cameras and a finite amount of actual cash. These financial networks require constant, round-the-clock cybersecurity protection.
#4: Businesses are now required by law to protect customer data.
Companies and industries have always been subject to some degree of regulation, but security regulations are now being imposed by the government more frequently, requiring institutions like healthcare providers and insurance companies to safeguard data and adhere to cybersecurity standards. Although the government and its laws are typically slow to catch up with the state of cybersecurity, they are improving. To assist these businesses in remaining compliant, cybersecurity experts are required.
#5: The involvement of governments
Future battlegrounds will be fought online. Nation states are aware that, frequently, causing harm to an opponent’s systems and infrastructure can be more damaging than engaging in physical combat. Countries are using social engineering, cyber attacks, and advanced persistent threats more frequently to harm their adversaries. Therefore, both offensive and defensive cybersecurity experts are required in all developed nations.
#6: People who are not familiar with technology are also online.
Computers are frequently used by people between the ages of 25 and 65 at work, and many of them receive instruction from their employers on how to maintain system security. It is common for businesses to annually train their staff members on cybersecurity threats that could harm the business. However, there are tens of millions of other users online. Seniors who did not grow up using technology and who have not been educated on its dangers online Additionally, there are millions of kids online who lack the maturity to recognize danger. This results in potentially hundreds of millions of online users who might not be security conscious. Would a hacker or con artist find this interesting? No doubt.
#7: We continue to use dated and unsafe technology.
Finding flaws in outdated, vulnerable software is a common strategy used by hackers. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by dated, legacy software. We can’t just throw it away overnight, and a lot of it can’t be upgraded because we either don’t have the time or don’t want to. There are numerous security flaws in all of this outdated software that have been identified since it was first released.
All around us, legacy software is present. Our point-of-sale systems, power plants, water treatment facilities, and sometimes even our air traffic control are all run by software that is 10, 15, or even 20 years old. All of these components are reliable and stable, but they also provide a means of attack for hackers.