Friday, August 5, 2016

Study shows desperate need for trained cybersecurity professionals

Hackers don't generally like to announce their presence.


 

Ever since companies began using the internet to better their daily operations, hackers have been trying to break in and steal money or information. Online capabilities are far too valuable for businesses to go back now, which means organizations need to set up cybersecurity initiatives in order to fend off the attacks of these criminals. 

Sadly, it would appear that these efforts are becoming overwhelmed by malicious individuals. A study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies has found that the cybersecurity industry is seriously lacking in trained professionals. 

The gap is there

The CSIS study, which was reported on by Fast Company's Lydia Dishman, wasn't just contained to a single country. The statistics here include information from the U.S., France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Israel, Mexico and the U.K. Overall, 82 percent of respondents were suffering from a major deficiency in terms of employees with advanced cybersecurity talents. 

Although there are many skills necessary to combat the efforts of cybercriminals, Dishman reported that the study found three specific skills to be the most important for cybersecurity job recruiters: secure software development, attack mitigation and intrusion detection. That last skill is especially important because of how quiet most cyberattacks are. 

Unlike in the movies, hackers don't usually display a skull and crossbones on the computers that they infiltrate. Instead, they often sit on the network undetected, slurping up information that they can later use for personal gain. These intrusions often last months, with the Ponemon Institute having found that the average data breach of a retailer lasts around 197 days. The number of malicious actions a cybercriminal can take in that timeframe is enormous, showing just how big of a problem hacking is to modern businesses. 

There's a lot of money on the line

Despite this lack of trained professionals, CSIS's study found that companies are doing everything they can to solve the problem. The researchers stated that they expect worldwide spending allocated toward cybersecurity to reach $100 billion over the next four or five years. While that's certainly a lot of money, the problem here is that businesses are losing much more than that. 

Inga Beale, the CEO of insurance company Lloyd's, said that hacking events cause around $400 billion in losses every single year. Even though a hefty chunk of that comes from actual money being stolen, quite a large portion can also be attributed to business interruptions that come as a result of having been hacked. Not only do hackers often shut down IT systems, such as through a ransomware scheme, they also cause major problems for a company's reputation. 

A degree isn't everything

One of the biggest misconceptions about cybersecurity is that you need a lot of fancy degrees in order to work in the industry. While having majored in a technical field is obviously a necessity, the CSIS report found that these degrees aren't what recruiters are actually looking for. In fact, all they really want is something concrete that shows you understand the material. 

The study stated that three-fourths of participants believed IT certifications surrounding cybersecurity are a solid means of showing you have the knowledge necessary to keep hackers out. These courses, combined with previous experience, are a great way to stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends without having to actually go back to school. 

If you're interested in working on the cutting edge of computer security, you should check out the plethora of training courses offered by New Horizons Computer Learning Centers.

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Author: Anonym
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