A Two-Fold Cyber Security Crisis: Increasing Cyber Attacks and a Shortage of Cyber Security Talent

A Two-Fold Cyber Security Crisis: Increasing Cyber Attacks and a Shortage of Cyber Security Talent
  • Opening Intro -

    Cyber Security continues to make headlines with hackers targeting organizations, businesses and agencies in nearly every industry.

    In 2020, 1,001 data breaches resulted in the exposure of sensitive information for 155.8 million individuals.

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Cyber Security is a tremendous concern, yet there is a severe shortage of talent in this field. Taken together, these two facts create a two-fold Cyber Security crisis. Participating in high-quality training for a certification online can help get more qualified Cyber Security professionals in the field.

Troubling Trends

The number of cyber attacks are increasing and so are the number of criminals. What’s more, hackers are no longer just individual operators. They are also now organized groups sponsored by nation-states seeking to gain an advantage on the global stage.

Cyber criminals are savvy about getting what they want from the companies they target, resulting in significant financial losses and supply chain interruptions. To reverse current trends, organizations should invest in Cyber Security training for their teams.

Ransomware Is on the Rise

The tools cyber criminals use to access data and information is constantly evolving, making it difficult for companies and the government to stay ahead of them. Ransomware is rapidly becoming the method of choice. Ransomware attacks increased in North America by 158% between 2019 and 2020. Globally, the rate of increase was 62%.

In a ransomware attack, hackers steal sensitive information or data and hold it hostage. To release the stolen property, the targeted entity is required to pay a significant sum of money. Often, the criminals also make them pay an additional amount to prevent the hackers from selling the data on the dark web.

Financial Impacts Are Devastating

The cost of cyber attacks are higher than the economy of every country combined, with the exclusion of China and the United States. In 2020, the world took a financial hit to the tune of $1 trillion in losses due to cyber attacks.

By 2025, cyber crime could cost up to $10.5 trillion per year globally. The financial impact is greater than that caused by natural disasters and brings in higher profits than the global drug trade.

Despite the potential for financial devastation, many companies and organizations are ill-prepared to handle Cyber Security threats. Some may have systems in place but are unable to hire qualified specialists to monitor and update them.

Others do not realize the threat hackers pose and don’t have any offensive or defensive Cyber Security tactics. Employers would do well to send IT specialists through a comprehensive online program to improve system security.

Societal Functioning Is Threatened

The growing Internet of Things is opening up a new arena for cyber criminals, one which threatens societal functioning. When the Russian-based ransomware group DarkSide hacked into the Colonial Pipeline, the company had to shut down the pipeline, effectively cutting off gas supplies to the eastern United States. Though they paid the criminals $5 million in ransom one day after the attack, it took the company a week to get the pipeline up and running again.

When hackers target companies like Colonial Pipeline, they disrupt the supply chain. In this instance, it led to panic, long gas lines and price hikes.

However, the consequences could be far more severe and long-lasting if the target is a water or electric utility company. Cyber Security programs need to focus on key skills that help students understand the evolving landscape in Cyber Security and adapt to changes as they occur.

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Significant Shortages

The second prong of the Cyber Security crisis is the serious shortage of qualified workers in the field. Between April of 2020 and March of 2021, a total of 464,420 Cyber Security jobs were listed, approximately half the number of Cyber Security workers already employed. Commonly available positions include:

  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Network Engineer or Architect
  • Penetration Tester
  • Vulnerability Analyst
  • Cyber Security Specialist

Online programs offering students skills and hands-on learning opportunities in penetration testing, threat hunting, digital forensics, exploit development and more are best suited for preparing people to join the Cyber Security workforce. 

INE offers a comprehensive Cyber Security online program for individuals interested in pursuing a new career. Gain the skills you need for in-demand jobs such as penetration tester through videos, hands-on labs, live online bootcamps and more.

Image Credit: shortage of cyber security talent by twenty20.com

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