As the world becomes more connected, we're exposed to a variety of new vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities that we aren't always prepared for.
Over the past decade, our habits as consumers have radically evolved, from online banking and shopping to how we communicate with our family members - remember fax machines for communication in the workplace and the introduction of the first mobile phone? Even then, we couldn't have predicted just how fast devices would have advanced. Although this connectivity has made us more efficient and in-the-know with what's happening all over the world, it's highlighted a host of new weaknesses. The digital transformation, although exceptionally impressive, has left organisations and consumers exposed to cybercrime.
Cyber-attacks: an all too common problem
It appears that every day we wake up to the news of a new cyber-attack. For large businesses, the average cost of a cyber-attack is a staggering £1.46 million - £3.14 million. Details of the 2013 Yahoo security breach recently highlighted that over 1 billion accounts were compromised - at a cost yet to be revealed. This further questions who we should be blaming. Is it organisations for their lack of protection or our renewed reliance on technology? The truth is, the alarming growth rate of IT has been unpredictable, and left us wholly unprepared. Organisations around the world are suffering with a widening skills gap for cyber security professionals, and the vital need for protection has meant added pressure on these businesses - both large and small.
According to a global McAfee study, 82 percent of IT professionals report a shortage of crucial cyber security skills, while 71 percent state this skills gap does direct and measurable damage. There's no doubt that bridging the gap and improving our defences in a connected world is visibly imperative.
What does cyber security need?
To fight against these increasing attacks, it's simple - we need more young people in IT. By filling this gap and giving new skills to a new generation, we can be prepared for what the future entails, and the alarming rate at which it's advancing. It's either that or remain at the mercy of the hacker. Taking the heavy cost of a cyber-attack into consideration, training a new generation seems like a no-brainer.
Nevertheless, how do we go about this? It's everyone's responsibility to help reduce our vulnerability, ensuring a safe, connected world.
How can we defend ourselves against cyber-attacks?
Upskilling workforces is an option for organisations, while schools and colleges can educate students about attaining a career in cyber security. As a multi-faceted specialism, a cyber security profession can take countless forms, offering a career with bright prospects. It's an industry that can also take professionals around the world.
Morson's recent Brave New World educational hub was created to highlight the career opportunities available to those entering the industry. However, more needs to be done. We should offer more apprenticeships, encourage the new generation to enter this sector, and train current IT professionals who have the skillset to specialise in cyber security. We need to act now.
By working to bridge the cyber security skills gap, we can increase our defences against cybercrime and stop being at the mercy of the hacker. It's time to be prepared for what the future holds. Cyber security should be our top priority.
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