BY Richard Summerfield
Thanks to the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the technological weapons available to them, instances of cyber crime and terrorism have increased exponentially in recent years.
Though firms have been aware of the nascent threat of cyber crime for some time, many of them are largely unprepared to tackle the problem. However, with more and more high profile cyber breaches occurring, firms are beginning to fight back.
Organisations worldwide are looking to bolster their cyber security defences, and though the demand for competent and effective cyber security professionals is high, there is still a serious skill shortage. In the US alone, more than 209,000 cyber security jobs are currently unfilled, and job postings for cyber professionals are up 74 percent over the past five years, according to a 2015 analysis from the Bureau of Labour Statistics by Peninsula Press.
Globally, the figure for cyber security job openings is believed to be around one million, according to a new report from Cisco.
Cisco’s report notes, however, that the hiring of a raft of new cyber security officials should form just part of a wider cyber response plan. The report recommends that all organisations establish a separate security incident response team. The importance of this response team is likely to increase as organisations become more reliant on technology.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will also have a profound impact on the way companies conduct business. With the IoT security market expected to grow from $6.89bn in 2015 to nearly $29bn by 2020, the opportunities for cyber security professionals in the near future will be plentiful. As more connected or smart devices find their way into our personal and professional lives, the size of the market will grow exponentially.
However, the growth of IoT will present a number of challenges in the years to come. Organisations will need to marry IT and operational technology, in turn giving adversaries new targets such as vehicles, buildings and manufacturing plants, according to Cisco.
Moving forward, the report recommends that companies look to appoint a varied and diverse number of cyber security professionals. The modern chief information security officer should have at her disposal skilled security professionals covering a range of areas. This is particularly important given consumers' growing awareness of cyber and data security issues.