Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you understand that today’s business environment is evolving rapidly with the emergence of new technologies, such as cloud computing, social networking and next generation mobile computing, as well as the interconnections between the corporate networks and other networks for sharing information and conducting business online. The wave of technology innovation are being rapidly adopted across businesses and other institutions, creating unparalleled levels of access and connectivity across people, information, systems and assets worldwide – collectively a network delivered society. This unparalleled level of access has raised the importance of cyber security as a specialized function in businesses for many reasons.
Greater Connectivity Opens New Doors for Cyber Criminals
The traditional boundaries that formed the basis for securing business assets have, by necessity, become increasingly porous, due to this new, routinely wireless and ubiquitous “always-on” connectivity. Hence, a major challenge for businesses today is determining how to embrace disruptive technologies and trends such as “everything connected,” cloud, mobile, and social computing, while at the same time managing the inherent risks of conducting business in cyberspace creates. This is especially true, as the reliance of information technology to enable business also increases the touch-points of the business that can be exploited by cyber criminals.
The Traditional Role of IT Professionals is being Stressed by Rapid IT Advancements
IT professionals play the crucial role of generating value through the use of information technology and aligning it with the business strategies. They managed information technology to provide efficiency and effectiveness of strategic decisions, making use of systems, such as transaction processing systems, decision support systems, expert systems, and executive information system, to name a few. The role of the IT professional helps the organization to maximize its benefit from IT investments with the proper utilization of peoples, business processes, and related technologies.
While traditional IT professional has always included practice areas related to hardening the information processing systems including communication network, application, database, mobile computing device, and the cloud computing environment, the cyber world that we live in today has created host of new vulnerabilities that IT professionals must contend with but often are not well equipped to handle. For example, the frequency and scale of cyber-crime as a result of this open and network-oriented society, coupled with an explosion in the use of edge devices and cloud applications, as well as increasing regulatory requirements, has created an urgent need for organizations to rapidly advance their security countermeasures and re-think traditional approaches to IT security.
And the importance of cybersecurity is far broader than simply addressing one issue such as securing data, securing mobile devices, or securing cloud computing environments. Nearly everything is interconnected and further complicated with hybrid enterprise environments that consist of a mix of cloud, non-cloud, internal and external IT service delivery models. These factors are creating security related stress to traditional IT professionals and organizations.
The Importance of Cybersecurity is Rising
With prominent cybersecurity breaches becoming a somewhat regular occurrence, including recent attacks on companies to hack money from customers, organizations around the country are frequently outgunned in the fight to protect their essential information. The problem isn’t bound exclusively to the private sector either, with government agencies still struggling to defend themselves against cyber invasions from both international and domestic threats. As a result of these and other high-profile cases of compromised information, the field of cybersecurity has experienced a surge of attention.
The importance of cybersecurity, as a result, is rising to become an integral part of an overall security plan and IT security team. Many organizations are addressing cyber-attacks as an enterprise-wide challenge to minimize the potential impact. Cybersecurity is focused on the leakage (or loss) of sensitive data, intellectual property, and protecting digital assets – everything from networks to hardware and information that is processed, stored or transported by inter-networked information systems.
Specialized Skills of Cybersecurity Experts
Managing cybersecurity is clearly much more than that of the traditional security services delivered by IT professionals. Cybersecurity seeks the ability to protect or defend the use of cyberspace from cyber-attacks. It is a field that demands skilled professionals who possess the foundational knowledge, education and thought leadership necessary to confront the difficulties that accompany constant technological change. Advanced threat vectors, emerging technologies and myriad regulations require cybersecurity professionals to be skilled in technology as well as business and communications.
As cyber-crime evolves, we see cyber criminals constantly innovate their threat tactics to more efficiently breach organizations and make off with valuable data. Keeping up with new attack techniques, and effectively defending against advanced threats, is perhaps a unique trait of cybersecurity professionals. In a world of cyber threats where the only constant is change, architecting a cybersecurity solution that dynamically adapts to constant change is crucial.
Cybersecurity is a specialized practice, demanding mastery of a number of unique skills in computational theory and practice from its most effective practitioners. Ensuring that servers, intranets, and channels built for data transfer remain protected and accessible to only those permitted, for example, falls under the realm of cybersecurity. While the cybersecurity professionals must be specialized in all of these areas, the IT professionals may have the knowledge of only one or several of the many areas of the IT fields.
In some cases, information isn’t the sole point of sensitivity, at least not directly, as some hackers are more interested in uncovering passwords and gaining access to closed networks so they can manipulate data and websites or shut down essential functions. This necessitates a complete focus on rendering all points of vulnerability inaccessible to the prying eyes of hackers and cyber-terrorists in every interaction between a PC or mobile device and a network or server. This is the wider aim of cybersecurity, and exactly the need that makes cybersecurity professionals so highly in-demand by businesses and other organizations.