Talk of cyber security and its necessity has recently become much more prevalent on the lips of Irish people, mainly due to the recent cyber-attack on the HSE by the Russian-based Conti ransomware group. Our health system was crippled by the attack and has since failed to recover in any significant manner. Other high-profile attacks such as phishing attacks on Bank of Ireland customers have reminded us all how the high-tech services and devices we use, can be manipulated at any time by those with ill intentions.
While cybercrime is nothing new, the increase in connectivity, dependence on our devices through remote work, and more reliance on automation have resulted in the rate of cyber-attacks increasing massively. Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock recently described the pace at which hackers are boosting their attacks as “alarming”. While this is certainly worrisome for the everyday person, who depends heavily on their mobile devices in day-to-day life. It creates a lot of much-needed talk about the need for and future of cyber security.
As the world of work is constantly changing, with many everyday roles such as supermarket assistants, bank tellers, etc.. suddenly being made obsolete, delving into the world of cyber security certainly appears to be one way to future-proof your career. The explosion in cybercrime would appear to have some hidden silver linings, as organisations everywhere look to bolster their defenses.
With interest in knowing more about cyber security jobs is understandably high, but access to easily understood explanations of potential roles is thin on the ground. We’d like to run through some of the increasing threats, and potential careers in the world of cyber security.
- More Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks such as the one carried out on the HSE this year are continuing to rise each year. In cases like this, hackers are able to steal sensitive information before enacting a sort of scorched earth practice whereby they then encrypt the target’s data and disable backup and recovery tools. The financial benefit for hackers associated with these attacks means they are unlikely to cease any time soon.
- USB a More Potent Threat
Any laptop or PC device has a USB port. USB devices are so common they are rarely considered suspicious, however that doesn’t mean they don’t still pose a threat. Industrial targets appear to be the largest target in the area, with a report by honeywell.com finding the threat to industrials has doubled to nearly 60%. While the ordinary person fears contracting viruses (adware/spyware) through dodgy streaming sites when they’re trying to relax and watch a movie. Malware can have a far more detrimental effect. Especially for these highly-target industrial players.
- Need For Secure Remote Access
As we mentioned before, the increase in remote working, a direct result of the recent pandemic, has led to companies needing to drastically improve their security systems. Companies now have a much wider network to protect, while attackers have a much more widespread herd from which they can choose easy targets. This transitional phase is where companies are particularly vulnerable as employees get up to speed with protocol and adjust to new ways of working.
- Need For Increased Automation
When you think of automation, you don’t think of people. However, it is the skilled humans that develop these automatic processes which are most important in the fight vs cybercrime. As threats increase, the need for more in-depth defenses grows too. With an unfathomable amount of threats constantly circulating, machine learning and AI are so important. Upgraded systems that sift through these threats more efficiently, allowing only the most serious problems to be dealt with by security experts, are crucial.
Future of Cybersecurity Careers
- Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to all of the gadgets we encounter in our daily lives which contain embedded technology to communicate with their environment and users. Examples of such gadgets would be Alexa or Fitbit. While these new pieces of technology are designed to make our lives easier, they aren’t necessarily designed to put our confidentiality to the fore. Therefore, going forward, cybersecurity professionals will be tasked with pinpointing and updating weak points in the software’s security. This can be done in various ways:
- Using intelligent encryption to protect IoT devices
- Providing security updates and software patching
- Strengthening cloud security and incorporating access controls
- Designing analytics programs to detect security breaches
- Ethical Hacking
Ever wanted to be like Leonardo di Caprio in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” \,and use your criminal techniques for good? Well then ethical hacking could be just the opportunity you’re looking for! To beat a hacker you sometimes have to think like one. If you’re looking to future-proof your career, ethical hacking is a sure-fire way to do so. Responsibilities for such a role include:
- Conducting penetration tests to identify system vulnerabilities
- Analysing risk assessment to provide remediation
- Mocking breaches to develop new security posture measures
- Staying abreast of the latest security threats
- Developing policies to ensure best practices for security
- Artificial Intelligence
As humans, we have only a limited capacity as to the amount of work we can get through in any given workday. Earlier, we mentioned how with the use of AI, threats such as malware can be identified and dealt with in a much quicker and thorough fashion. However, these machines cannot be trained without a security professional to guide them. As the threat of cyber-attacks increases, cybersecurity systems must be upgraded to deal with higher volumes of data, at higher speeds. These systems must also be appraised on a continual basis to ensure they are performing in the desired function. Tasks undertaken for such roles include:
- Training machine learning algorithms to trigger alerts
- Reducing labor overhead with automation
- Making informed decisions about prioritized risks
- Analysing and coordinating findings made by intelligent systems
For anyone looking to take a quantum leap with their career, there is no better time to get involved in cybersecurity. The job market expansion shows no sign of slowing, and if you are a curious person with an appetite for learning a new skill, Dublin CODING School can set you well on your path.
Feel free to get in touch or download our Cyber Security brochure HERE!