August 23, 2018
It looks like the future in the technological sphere is going to be more comprehensive than the human race could have ever hoped to witness before. We know that technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, IoT, Blockchain and Big Data have now become mainstream subjects in the digital world, despite their fairly recent introduction. Furthermore, most of these technologies have already found realistic applications in society, making development in corresponding areas more reliable.
The only part of the tech world that still remains farther away from the limelight is cybersecurity. Although it has been brought to the attention of the public and experts via analysts. The present situations indicate that we shall never be completely prepared for the advances in technology unless we increase the pace of development in the cybersecurity arena as well.
Earlier, we have seen how reports brought critical concern over the ‘untenable’ cybersecurity situations of US Federal agencies. Later, we also found even the most fine missteps could lead to disastrous results where security of the confidential data is concerned. It is, therefore, high time, for the country to lead with some major long-term cybersecurity plans, and see how they can include the coming generations to formulate a more secure cyber environment.
For the first time in many years, it appears like the authorities have got the right wind and are now setting sail to move in the right direction. That’s right. The US government has shifted its focus to the long-term strategy of creating a cyber-secure environment that in future will become a crucial part of any nations’ defence programs. The first sign of this awareness comes from the North Dakota State University. The university has recently organised a GenCyber Camp for a week, where young students were introduced to the fundamentals of cybersecurity. The National Science Foundation and National Security Agency funded and brought together 53 students from North Dakota and Minnesota, who learned about the principles of core networking, programming, and security.
This initiative is not the first of its kind either. The state’s governor Doug Burgum and Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen announced an educational collaboration with Palo Alto Networks earlier this month. The purpose of the collaboration was to boost cybersecurity education in K-12 schools and higher education. As Shawn Riley, the CIO with North Dakota, stated, “We are trying to get every child in all grades throughout the state of North Dakota to be cyber educated. Cybersecurity is kind of an amazing field right now. I see a lot of interest in schools, and it’s all over the nation really to bring cybersecurity into their programs.”
Such initiatives have become the need of the hour, sensing the growing ratio of negative unemployment in cybersecurity. Australia is already dealing with a lack of cybersecurity expertise, possessing only 7% of its total requirements. Conditions in developing nations are not good either. In fact, despite being the leading country, the US has started to witness the huge gap between the demand and supply.
After dropping to zero per cent in February 2018, the unemployment percentage in cybersecurity is decreasing further, which according to most cybersecurity ventures will lead to 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021, if necessary steps are not taken.
Technologies and Factors That May Affect the Cybersecurity Future
As mentioned above, the accelerating progress in technologies has a clear impact on cybersecurity. Not only do they have the potential of improving the present conditions of present cybersecurity measures, but also pose threat by empowering the bad actors with better tools for accomplishing their malicious purposes! Here is a list of such technologies and factors that can, in future, redefine how we view cybersecurity today, and where the new generation scholars may re-shift their focus.
IoT:The growing dependence on IoT, and the sheer number of connected devices is increasing, making it quite clear that it is technology that will have the most significant impact on the cybersecurity policies, and plans for the future. In fact, a study has pointed out that the global spend on cybersecurity will increase up to $6 billion in the next 5 years, which is 300% more than the present expenditure. Since the growth of IoT is all but assured, it will be counted as a good move if IT education starts focusing on dedicated IoT cybersecurity procedures, by preparing the coming generation with better tools for defending against those who wish to cause harm.
Blockchain: Despite carrying immense potential, the progress in blockchain seems to have slowed down. However, a major part of this apparent slow growth belongs to the hype in Bitcoin that made this technology a buzzword during last year’s holidays. But to say that the technology was just another tech bubble would be wrong as well. If that was the case, education institutes wouldn’t be introducing programs for it. In any case, the realistic applications of blockchain in IoT security make it a promising technology to invest in.
AI: A recent confession from an AI expert brought back the memories of thrilling sci-fi movies wherein drones controlled by malicious AI wreak havoc on earth. As he put it, “Such attacks, which seem like science fiction today, might become reality in the next few years. Autonomous cars like Google’s (Waymo) are already using deep learning, can already raid obstacles in the real world, so raiding traditional anti-malware system in the cyber domain is possible.”. Quite clearly, whilst AI is making it easier to enhance the processing of certain cybersecurity practices, it is also creating graver threats, making it another important factor in making the decisions on cybersecurity’s future.
High-Profile Attacks:Big scale and high-profile attacks have a clear effect on the industrial spend and awareness on cybersecurity. We’ve seen how attacks like NotPetya and WannaCry led to unprecedented growth of the British cybersecurity group, Sophos. Now, these attacks may also compel other organisations to think more clearly about the system, data, and network security, to safeguard against such attacks.
GDPR: The European Union’s policy for ensuring data protection has made a huge impact on the entire industry, leading it to become more conscious about the data privacy practices. Tech conglomerates including Apple and Google have brought some huge changes in their platforms to safeguard against hefty fines, which indirectly shows a more integrated approach that these and other companies may assume for better and more cyber-secure future.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency based on a distributed network though appears to have better solutions to deal with the cash transfer frauds, whilst also eliminating the middle-men charges, creates lucrative incentives for hackers. Though Blockchain creates apparently impregnable walls against transactional frauds, we are wise enough to know that no technology is ever fool-proof. Thus it becomes a responsibility of the cybersecurity experts to patch those holes and susceptibilities before bad actors find and exploit these, Other than that, another way cryptocurrency can bring significant effect is through cryptojacking, more information on this can be found in our post here.
It is evident that the future in these technological spheres will be quite comprehensive, where everything can be more connected and consequently more susceptible. It is, therefore, really important that we prepare the future generation with enough tools and knowledge to protect everyone through the coming 3.5 million jobs.
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