Machines and wireless networks are now an integral part of our lives. Everything from financial transactions to professional networking and business documents are technologically linked to helping us interact more effectively. However, when these lines of communication are compromised, it can have far-reaching effects on individual organisations and governments alike.
As our reliance on technology has increased, so has the incidence of cybersecurity threats and breaches. Some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, banks and data companies have all been victims of cybercrime, not to mention foreign governments and major international media outlets. These instances have cost victims of cybersecurity breaches dearly, from losses of revenue and private information to degradation of trust and public opinion.
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to have qualified cybersecurity experts on your team. Those properly equipped with the right skills are able to reduce the cybercrime rate, protect information and make our technological world more secure.
Industries seeking cyber experts
Worldwide, cybercrime is a very lucrative business. Last year alone, cyber security breaches were estimated to have cost the world almost $600 billion USD. No one is safe from becoming a target of cybersecurity breaches. This threat means that those entering the field of cybersecurity can expect to become highly specialised and sought-after, with experts commanding the highest pay in the tech sector, averaging close to $90,000 per annum.
There are a number of industries looking for skilled cybersecurity professionals to protect their valuable assets.
Due to the sensitive and personal nature of the information that healthcare organisations collect and store, they’ve increasingly become a major target for cyber-attacks. Information taken from patients has been used to steal identities and access additional benefits, including medical services and prescription medication.
The manufacturing sector means big money, and this spells profitable opportunities for cyber attackers. From automotive to electronics and pharmaceutical companies, the type of intellectual property data up for grabs can generate tempting returns for cybercriminals. Even the small interruptions to manufacturing production can cause substantial losses down the line. Lapses in security require more proactive actions to protect assets and prepare for an increasingly automated future.
Over the last three years, the Australian Signals Directorate responded to over 1,000 “cyber incidents” affecting unclassified and classified government networks. This averages out to approximately one serious cyber-attack per day. Attacks on government data can affect a nation’s security and future prosperity, with criminals directing resources to destroy critical infrastructure, conduct espionage and steal identities.
With the sector consistently ranked the worst when it comes to cybersecurity, students around the world are experiencing daily risks to their personal data. Education institutions also carry a wealth of valuable university data, including potentially lucrative cutting-edge research, innovations and intellectual property across a range of specialisations.
Top skills for cybersecurity
Cyber professionals need to have a range of skills to effectively prevent cyber-attacks and help victims recover from data incursions.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will both play a key role in the future of cybersecurity, and cybersecurity experts need to know the ins and outs of this technology. The best antivirus tools on the market already rely on AI to scan servers and find instances of malware.
The nature of our interconnected world of devices exchanging information means that unintended access to a single unprotected point could mean a network-wide security breach. Cybersecurity experts will need to be prepared for the next great challenge for cloud cybersecurity: the Internet of Things (IoT).
Network security is an essential element of effective cybersecurity. Experts will need to be skilled in proper deployment, use and monitoring of both wired and wireless networks to protect their integrity and prevent unauthorised access.
Information is power. In the cybersecurity world, how information or knowledge is weaponised and disseminated can have long-lasting effects. With threats of cyber warfare on the horizon, experts will need to know how to spot threats from digital enemies to save infrastructure, information and a nation’s citizens.