When the internet was invented, a variety of industries were born. Computing, information technology, and software development changed immediately, and are continually evolving. But with the creation of new technology, a new task was necessitated – keeping that technology, and more importantly, the underlying data, safe.
Cybersecurity has taken enormous strides in recent years, and for good reason: with millions of people moving their banking, their work information, and even their medical records to online databases and mobile apps, protecting that data has never been more crucial. With that in mind, what is the scope of the data breach threat, and what does the future of cybersecurity look like? Keep reading to find out.
The Rising Threat
Over the Fourth of July weekend, as many as 1,500 businesses were impacted by a massive and sophisticated ransomware attack carried out by REvil, a Russian ransomware group who demanded $70 million to unlock data. This is part of a disturbing trend impacting businesses, hospitals, governments and more around the world. According to the top analysts as well as the prevailing reports, cyber-related crime is one of the fastest growing crime sectors in the world. In an interview with TechNewsWorld, Senior Vice President of Risk Solution at Neustar, Robert McKay, said that forecasts are revealing that there will be a cyberattack about every 11 seconds in 2021. The scope of this increase is gargantuan – it was every 19 seconds in 2019, and every 40 seconds in 2016. The sophistication of cybercrime and the frequency with which it occurs is ramping up seemingly by the day.
And this doesn’t just have dangerous implications for data misuse and theft: these attacks cause serious real-dollar losses. Globally, cyberattacks cost businesses, governments, and individual consumers over $1 trillion.
These alarming statistics, thankfully, have been met with much retaliatory strategy and system design improvements on the cybersecurity front. Firewalls and anti-theft software are continually being honed and improved to carry heavier workloads, encrypt stored data, and detect threats faster and more effectively.
Another key paradigm shift in the cybersecurity space is the migration from preventative software and planning to a resilience approach. Due to the aforementioned certainty that cyberattacks will occur in increasingly complicated ways with increased frequency, systems are being developed to recognize and fight cyberattacks when they occur, and secure data in the event of a breach. Think of this philosophy difference as similar to military strategy – instead of focusing on policy creation to deter the launching of missiles, these systems are now creating missile defense protocols to reduce or eliminate the damage of an attack once it has already launched. This exciting technology will continue to shape the nature and future of security in the coming years.
Fighting the Information Battle
The battle for the security of data rages on not only between data providers and hackers, but between hackers and individuals. The vast majority of cyberattacks are perpetrated using some sort of social engineering to deliver malware – this often manifests through a consumer engaging with a phishing email or direct message. The key to making systems more secure lies equally with the actions of consumers. Safe maintenance and updating of all passwords, knowledge of where threats can come from and what they will look like, and action plans for cyberattacks will help better arm consumers, and thereby their networks, with defensive capabilities. Thus, one of the largest potential growth avenues for cybersecurity in the future is through the education of individuals: resources from banks and online service providers and on-the-job training will continue to evolve and improve. And the skills that IT professionals hone will become more robust and diverse, making the demand for competent IT staff more important than ever.
Cybersecurity has a formidable foe in the dynamic and rapidly growing menace of cybercrime. But the proper education of end users and the thorough training of IT professionals can help fight that battle with vigor and effectiveness.
ESP IT: Here to Help
For support navigating the increasingly complex (and vital) space of cybersecurity, ESP IT staffing in Minneapolis helps connect great candidates with great firms. We’re here to help make sure your business thrives by providing the right professionals for your specific needs. To learn more about ESP IT, or to start searching for your next cybersecurity professional today, contact us at 612-337-3000.