The working world headed back to their respective offices this week, rested, energised and pledging to keep their News Year’s Resolutions (for once). No doubt somewhere on that list will be to ‘finally’ address the issue of cyber security.
If this resolution is not on the respective list, then it should be because a week didn’t pass in 2016 without a major data breach, hack or other sort of digital compromise hitting the headlines of both the IT press and the mainstream media. Anybody who does decide to keep this one resolution will be in good company as many IT commentators have been putting out their predictions for 2017 and cyber security is high up in that list.
Forbes magazine placed it as ‘No2’ in its ‘tech trend to watch’ list and those of us of a more cynical nature could argue that it’s been there for a number of years. What Forbes are saying this time is that cyber security needs to be embedded at the design stage of IT products and systems as opposed to a retrospective resolution. I do agree that this needs to be the case, so that stressed IT managers everywhere can gain greater confidence that by adding additional complexity to their infrastructures they are not further compounding their historical cyber security headaches.
One trend regarding cyber security that is almost a given is, as the website IT Pro Portal stated, that we will see continued data breaches, malware infections and social engineering attacks. It does feel that the cyber crime ‘industry’, if one can refer to it like that, has gathered increased traction and so many attacks now effect the lives of not hundreds, or thousands but millions of individuals.
But the criminals won’t have it all their own way, as they may be at the leading edge of cyber crime, but the cyber security industry is hot on their heels. TechCrunch pointed out that the cyber security market is a very healthy place to be, with it being worth around $80bn in 2016 and predicted to grow to $120bn by 2020. The age old adage of “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good” seems more that appropriate here. It is predicted that managed security service companies are to grow at triple digit rates, with some not being able to grow fast enough to meet demand.
If the New Year’s resolution of resolving cyber security does slip down the list due to more ‘pressing’ business concerns then in order to bump it back up to its rightful place of ‘critically important’ then take a look at another piece from Forbes about how poor cyber security can have a detrimental effect on the value of mergers and acquisitions. With the massive breach suffered by Yahoo last year, it does now put into jeopardy their potential acquisition by Verizon.
So if one of your other New Year’s resolutions was to sell your small business and retire to the sunshine, then I wish you well, but don’t let any of your plans for 2017 be scuppered by an issue as addressable as cyber security.
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