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The Cyber Security Challenge

Date: 30 July 2016

Reports indicate that the cyber security market is due to dramatically expand in the following few years, with new technologies emerging and the need for such technologies increasing.

The proliferation of connected devices, services like the Cloud and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices means that the threat of cyber-attack is now growing faster than ever and, as a result, there is expected to be a boom in the cyber security industry.

According to a MarketsandMarkets industry report, the cyber security market will increase from the $106.32 billion it is worth today, to $170.21 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8%.

Worldwide governments are making cyber security a key political focus. The US is currently leading the way, according to Larno Limnell writing for the International Business Times. “Most countries have cyber strategies on paper, but public discussion of policy and doctrinal levels and practical measures are not as mature as they are in the US,” he suggests.

Europe has recognised this discrepancy, however; the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament have been working together to update and supersede the existing EU Directive in order to bring it in line with the recent advances in technology. “The objective is to issue a final proposed comprehensive regulation for the EU by the end of 2015, with final approval and adoption thereof to occur by the Spring of 2016,” said Stephen Jett from Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP writing for Lexology.com.

Indeed, the government’s role in combatting cyber attacks is a critical one, according to new research by Intel Security. The study of 625 IT decision makers from the finance, energy, transport and government sectors in Germany, France, the UK and the US found that 86% felt cooperation between the public and private sectors was vital for protecting cyber infrastructure.

However, while the growth of this market is inevitable, more discussions need to take place regarding exactly what cyber security is and what it entails.

Experts have spoken out about the emergence of the market and claim that professionals within the industry, and those looking to enter it, need to begin training in all areas of cyber security as early as possible.

Discussing the sector, Gary Hayslip, the CIO for the City of San Diego, commented: “You talk to people, they think cyber is one thing, and it’s not.” It is this misunderstanding of the concept and market that requires more clarity. Linda Brent, the CEO for ASTA Group, expanded on this, stating that Cyber security can be considered to be “everything from artificial limbs to unmanned systems that are small enough to hold in your hand to the training and education of the workforce.”

This training and education should start at the most basic level – in schools. Many professionals are encouraging the integration of Science and Technology programmes, so future generations will already have a sound grasp of cyber security and what it entails by the time they enter the workforce.

This needs coordination between institutions - unless there is a unified understanding of the risks, challenges and learning opportunities then, any training provided is likely to be ineffective.

Since higher education institutions are notoriously slow at updating their curriculum, this is presenting a significant challenge. Headway is being made in some regards, for example, women are being encouraged to enter into the cyber security industry thanks to a new training initiative from Cybrary and the Women in Technology (WIT) Association. However, it is vital that consolidated training opportunities be made far more widely available, as soon as possible.

The Wall Street Journal has also recently reported that it’s not just schools and education institutions looking to improve awareness of cyber security; executive boards for high-profile businesses are also looking to improve their knowledge of the sector, so they are better informed should a cyber-attack occur. High-profile professionals are beginning to understand the significance of knowing where cyber security threats are coming from, how they are rectified and if enough is being done to challenge these attacks.

As awareness of the cyber security space increases, so too are jobs in the sector. For information on opportunities in the industry – whether you are a potential candidate or looking to hire – contact us here.

What are your views on the cyber security challenge? Please join the conversation and post your comments here.

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