The Cyber Security industry has seen continual change in the last ten years, with new technologies and cyber security issues evolving at a pace unlike anything seen before. The industry’s growth reached an unprecedented level with the likes of ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ transforming from little-known terms to household phrases.
The growth of the Cyber Security industry, however, is far from its peak with the next ten years promising to bring a whole new book of terminology and technologies. So what are the top issues predicted to influence and transform Cyber Security in the 2020s?
1. Data Breaches
The number of recorded data breaches has grown substantially since 2009. The last ten years have seen the worst hacks and breaches on record with businesses in the financial, healthcare and government sector all a target. The first half of 2019 alone saw 4.1 billion records exposed through data breaches with financial motivations driving 71 percent of these breaches. By the end of the 2010s, the average cost of a data breach to a business sat at $3.9 million.
With the anticipated data production in 2020 expected to be 44 times that experienced in 2009, it is unsurprising that data breaches will are expected to continue to trend upwards alongside data production.
As more and more people trust the Internet with their personal information, hackers are experiencing opportunity like never before to steal and sell this data. Careers in Cyber Security promise to become even more challenging in response.
2. The Cloud
By the end of 2019, companies yet to adopt cloud technology were a clear anomaly amongst businesses. Bringing security, stability and reliability, the next 10 years are almost certain to see cloud services maintaining their relevancy and new services and providers booming. With cloud initiatives accounting for seventy percent of all tech spending, a predicted eighty percent of business will be cloud dependent by 2025 in efforts to protect their organisation’s security.
Cloud adoption is not without challenges. Those working in security are held accountable for the success of their business’ cloud technology, even if this is through a third party. It is the security officers’ job to know what data their cloud stores, where this data is being stored, and ensure compliance and security requirements are being met by their cloud provider and beyond.
Cyberattacks targeting the cloud will are likely to see hackers exploiting loopholes in cyber infrastructure. Data breaches, malware injection and insider attacks are among the top threats to cloud security. With the financial and reputational risks of cyberattacks unquantifiable, companies will need to continue employing robust cloud security practices in the 2020s.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI remains a far cry from its predicted capabilities. And, whilst the 2010s saw considerable AI progress, growth is anticipated to be trifold in the 2020s.
By the end of the 2020s, many of the cyber security jobs of today may be replaced by AI functions. However, this fact should not be a concern for those currently working in cyber security. Rather than eliminating cyber security jobs, AI is expected to create a new set of roles for humans. The industry should look at AI’s potential as for replacing menial tasks rather than replacing jobs or people.
Cyber criminals are also expected to begin incorporating both AI and machine learning practices into their malware attacks. Such malware could become standard in everyday cyber-attacks over the coming years as cyber criminals exploit technologies built to protect networks.
4. Skills Shortage
Businesses of all sizes will continue to invest in cyber security in the 2020s. With 3.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs predicted globally by 2021, the imbalance of skilled professionals and demand makes now an excellent time for those entering the industry. The cyber security unemployment rate remains at zero percent as it has for multiple years and is predicted to remain at zero for the foreseeable future.
Looking at the United States, Information Security Analysts jobs are predicted to grow 32 percent between 2018 and 2028 and Computer Network Architects can expect a 5 percent job growth between 2018 and 2028. In the United Kingdom, IT Security Specialists, Security Engineers, Security Consultants, Information Security Analysts and IT Auditors are the positions sitting in the top five based on demand.
These trends skim the surface of this decade’s predictions for the cyber security industry, however given the uncatchable pace of evolution within the industry, this decade is guaranteed to bring an array of new technology, terminology and topics of concern far beyond current predictions. 5G security, targeted ransomware attacks, cyber espionage and beyond can all be expected to make headlines in the 2020s.
Whilst the above are only predictions, one prediction is almost guaranteed - the industry will financially exceed all other industries by 2030 and working in cyber security will continue to be a leading sector for decades to come.
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