Cyber-Security is ‘One to Watch’ But Skills Problems Persist

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The UK’s cyber-security industry has been marked out by the Institution of Engineering and Technology as one of the top six fastest growing and most exciting sectors today, but faces continued challenges with skills shortages.

The IET’s ‘Ones to Watch’ report explores the six industries the institution believes will drive employment of engineers and technicians in the future.

It points to huge opportunities as cyber-security plays an ever greater role in people’s lives over the next decade.

The report explained:

“If we are already hugely reliant on these cyber-security measures today, then the growth of networks at the heart of manufacturing processes and in the devices we rely on for our day-to-day lives will mean that reliance will go wider and deeper…

For the next generation of engineers, the growth of networked devices means that cyber-security will become a critical element of their skills mix.”

Two key trends are changing the way we must think about cyber-security, the report continues.

These are the Internet of Things and the concept of “maintaining the integrity of the physical systems that interface with digital networks.”

However, this will also put increased pressure on organizations to find adequately skilled professionals, the IET claimed.

Piers Wilson, head of product management at Tier-3, argued that the continual arms race between cyber-criminals and security vendors makes it difficult to stay adequately skilled.

"The threats that hackers level against organizations are constantly evolving, making it difficult for cyber-security teams to develop and keep up to date, since those skill requirements are evolving at a similar pace as the skills that most attackers would possess,” he told Infosecurity by email.

"The challenge in addressing this is that the cyber-security industry has been focussed on detection of attacks against vulnerabilities that are known and publicly documented, but businesses have in general been less progressive in looking for the symptoms or effects of a breach, i.e. detecting the symptoms rather than the disease itself.” 

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