In the digital world that we live in today, everyone has a lot to worry in the realm of data security and the security of computing devices. This is why the term cyber security is growing vital each passing day as individuals, government and companies look for protection. Well, what exactly is this term known as cyber security? In simple terms, it refers to everything pertaining preventing theft and damage from information systems. The idea is to protect these systems from threats such as Denial of Service attacks, spoofing, phishing, clickjacking among others.
Quick Facts about Cyber Crime :
If you thought your organization is safe, then think again. In fact, stats prove that cyber criminals are on the hunt for anything they can use against you or others whether financial records, intellectual property or customer contact information, nothing is really out of their reach. We have some quick stats that will prompt you to start over it :
- It is estimated that companies cost a net of over $100 million per year in recovery from large cyber incidents, around the globe.
- The loss of cybercrime could impact on US jobs, resulting in 1% decrease in US employment.
- $575 billion loss has been done across the globe due to Cybercrime.
- IP theft (all kinds, not just cybercrime) costs US companies $200 to $250 billion annually.
This is just the tip of the iceberg that why it is always advisable to conjure up in a defense strategy before you are attacked. The challenge has been in finding a person or people with the right skill sets to get things done. This hurdle is nothing new and it is bound to be around for long at least if what most studies are projecting turns out true. For example, the seventh annual (ISC) Global Workforce Survey, conducted by Frost & Sullivan (in 2015) projected that there will be a shortage of 1.5 million information security professionals by 2020.
Enough of the problems let us now look at some palatable solutions. How can this gap be filled in the short-term and in the long-term?
Smart Employment Strategies
Of course, with the growing rate of cyber-crime, there is a need for more companies to employ more professionals who are skilled on how to cut this menace. Likewise, there are more job openings than there are individuals to fill the positions. The search for these professionals is a major task since employers have to look out for those with the right skills deal in the toughest of conditions. This is where smart HR decisions can play a big role.
For example, as much as most graduates fall short of the standard required in cyber security, it would be good to offer internship programs to young people as a chance to start their career early enough and to familiarize them with the industry. Such training can be a very cheap source of talent that will benefit the company for lots of years to come. It would be unwise though to rely overly on half-baked talent to get you covered.
Fine Tuning Cyber Security Education
Imagine a soldier going out to war with just a weapon but no communication skills to interact with the local people or even little or no knowledge of the environment in which they are working. Just like a soldier, a cyber security professional must have knowledge of other disciplines such as understanding the business, the organization, and the business language. Cyber security is not only about IT only; a professional in this field will interact with other people, different companies, and departments while working. Skills on how to interact with others are important to help when dealing and handling serious incidents, understanding how the staff will react to new IT and security system, knowing how to educate the staff as well as investigating and writing reports for the management of the company.
Cyber security education should also be updated from time. Think of it this way, this is a field that is fast paced meaning that skills and knowledge learned today might be rendered useless faster than one can imagine. Therefore, the curriculum should never last long enough to equip future professionals with outdated skills.
Women should be Encouraged to Join the ‘club’
In today’s working environment, gender equality is important to balance out the ratio of men to women as well as to empower women in technology. There is a poor ratio of women in IT, sciences, and engineering which might be due to a couple of reasons : lack of interest in the sectors or in some case, the fact that men are more empowered and prioritized when it comes to employment in the fields. The best way to solve this is to encourage and empower more women to study cyber security and/or IT as a whole. Introducing cyber security related courses in the degree or diploma levels and lower levels of learning institutions would also help them to develop interest.
Better pay for qualified professionals
Now that you have employed those qualified cyber security people, will you afford to pay them well? There is no denying that most of the experienced experts choose to work with big companies given that their wage demands prove challenging to small businesses that are not yet financially stable. Thus, companies are filling important cyber security vacancies with average professional and students in their final years in campus while some turn to outsourcing their tasks to third party practitioners, which seems much cheaper. This can cut the cost but it does not seem good for you. The secret is to invest in getting the correct cyber security professionals into your team rather than cutting shortcuts!
Cyber threats are a menace in any organization thus the sooner we find a solution and the correct skills to curb these threats, it will be safer and better. It all starts with teaching and introducing the importance of cyber security to the young generation right from the basics, then we have to be responsible on how we use and store our data. To sum it up, security should be given the seriousness it deserves and it should always start with individuals.