The value of education and training in cyber security

As hackers and hacking software becomes more sophisticated, businesses must invest in cyber security and enforce their systems by employing experts. John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco says “There are two types of companies: those who have been hacked, and those who don’t yet know they have been hacked”. Businesses must be able to cope with the increasing threat those behind the ever more sophisticated hacking software pose.

The potential dangers of cyber attacks

By 2021, it is predicted that there will be a shortage of 3.5 million  cyber security jobs. This figure demonstrates the desperate need for coping strategies in the industry because without it, potentially catastrophic breaches of data could become more common.

One example of such breaches is the ‘WannaCry’ virus that rapidly spread across multiple networks in May 2017, affecting a number of high-profile systems including the NHS. The virus encrypted computer files and demanded a ransom payment if they were to be accessed again, costing the NHS £92 million in the subsequent clean-up and upgrades to its IT systems.

This demonstrates the potential dangers of cyber-attacks, which can ultimately have a very detrimental effect on businesses.

Overcoming cyber fatigue

A survey conducted by Cisco found that 63% of companies in the UK suffer from cyber fatigue – a reluctance to engage in cyber security. To combat the growing scale of attacks and fatigue, businesses must invest in the generation and maintenance of talent in the industry as well as increasing levels of awareness of cyber security.

A promising way to achieve this is by starting from the ground up, adding cyber security to school curriculum’s and utilising learning institutions that are dedicated to teaching specialised skills. Businesses must also invest in the increasingly more sophisticated defensive systems that assist protection against cyber-attacks.

The growing media coverage on cyber-attacks means that awareness of such issues is increasing and the development of new programs means there is more specialisation entering the industry however, there is a significant amount of room for growth within the cyber security sector.

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