The cybersecurity market is growing at unbelievable speeds. One only needs to look back 16 years ago to 2004. At that time, the cybersecurity market was worth about $3.4 billion. Now, in 2020, it is worth close to $173 billion.
IT analyst forecasters are finding it difficult to keep pace with the growth in the cybersecurity market. Much of that growth is spurred on by the meteoric rise in cyber crime. The COVID-19 pandemic created the perfect storm for cyber criminals to take advantage of. Ransomware, malware, phishing attacks, and attacks on the Internet of things devices have required a response from the cybersecurity industry.
Cyber attacks don’t just target large enterprises or government agencies. They are targeting small to medium-sized businesses. Many e-commerce businesses operate out of a house. While they might not have a large footprint, they could be a source of rich information for cyber criminals.
What Is the Future of Cybersecurity?
The future of cybersecurity is difficult to predict. No one can say with certainty what the next big cyber threat will be or the direction it will come from. On January 1, 2020, few people would have thought that remote workers were going to pose one of the biggest cybersecurity threats.
No one could have predicted that video conference software, like Zoom, would be a source of serious cyber vulnerabilities. Yet, that is the reality we now live in.
Artificial intelligence will likely pay a large role in cybersecurity systems. Artificial intelligence coupled with machine learning algorithms allow computers to make decisions that are so much faster than any human could.
AI will factor in on both sides of the cybersecurity equation. While AI will make it easier to identify potential cyber attacks, it is also inherently vulnerable. Because it is a developing technology, its users may not fully understand the vulnerabilities of AI that could be exploited in the future.
One thing that is sure is that artificial intelligence systems are going to continue to be a major target for hackers. The cybersecurity industry will need to respond by creating techniques to detect and correct AI corruption attacks.
It’s likely that developers will embed AI in user interfaces. The AI can warn an individual about a risky website or if they are making a less than desirable security choice. AI will be able to identify weak points and protect against them in a way that traditional cybersecurity measures, such as multi-factor authentication, VPNs, and strong passwords, cannot.
What’s certain though is that it’s never been a better time to consider becoming a cyber security analyst, given the forecasted growth of the industry.
The Cybersecurity Market Will Focus on Cyber Warfare
The major world powers are engaged in a cyber war. In 2020, we have seen state sanctioned or state run cyber warfare attacks. Whether it is an attack perpetrated by Iran, Russia, or China, the effects can be felt worldwide.
Many feel that cyber warfare, where one nation will try to embed viruses in the computer systems of another nation, will be the front line of how wars are fought over the next few years. Cyber warfare is exceptionally attractive to smaller nations that have emerging economies. They may lack the financial resources or the political allies to get involved in traditional wars.
However, cyber warfare will make it possible for small nations to find vulnerabilities in the infrastructure of larger nations and inflict damage. As result, the cybersecurity industry will likely focus more on preventing digital intrusions. These technologies will likely be employed at airports, hospitals, water purification centers, power grids, and other areas of infrastructure that are essential for the proper functioning of a country.
Hackers Are Going to Increase
There was a time when hackers were seen as an elite group of tech savvy individuals who were able to manipulate information in a way that most people could not. Now, as we are seeing generations growing up using computer technology, the ability to manipulate said technology for nefarious purposes is a skill that is becoming more widespread.
Couple that with the fact that many governments are actively training and encouraging their citizens to engage in these attacks and it becomes clear that hackers and cyber attacks are going to be part of the future. A Clark School study at the University of Maryland is one of the first to quantify the near-constant rate of hacker attacks which is one cyber attack every 39 seconds. A lot of these cyber attacks take advantage of automated scripts that crawl through databases looking for vulnerabilities to take advantage of.
Each one of these automatic scripts needs to be prepared by a tech savvy person. There is every reason to believe that the number of people who have the skills and motivation to create these attacks is going to grow in the future. This is especially true as developing countries are becoming more affluent and their education systems are focusing on creating a tech savvy workplace. Unfortunately, in some developing countries there are not enough jobs for their trained workforce to do, so some may choose to use their training for cybercrime.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Since cybercrime is growing rapidly each day, you need to take some proven cybersecurity measures to protect yourself and your company. Using strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and investing in antivirus software as well as a reputable VPN service can be very beneficial but not all available services offer the same layer of protection.
Since not all VPN providers protect your online privacy as they claim to do, you must inform yourself before you buy a service that secretly logs your online activity and sells it to the advertisers because in that case instead of protecting your data from hackers you’re putting yourself in danger of your valuable data being stolen and sold. That means you need to make sure your VPN provider has a no-logging policy, so all of your online activity stays private.
Cyber Crime As a Service
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in cyber crime across several industries. It seems that cyber criminals use cyber crime as a service model. They are happy to target every demographic that searches for information related to COVID-19. We have seen them create malicious domain names that contain the term COVID-19 or coronavirus. By March 2020, there were more than 40,000 suspicious domain names registered.
Cyber criminals have taken advantage of the remote working environment. As a result, organizations are spending more money on solutions designed to protect, detect, and mitigate attacks. The global cybersecurity market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent over the next five years. By 2027, it could reach $326 billion.
The biggest player in the cybersecurity market is and will likely continue to be North America. They account for more than 36 percent of the cybersecurity market share. Part of this is because many of the players who offer advanced solutions are located in North America.
Some of the biggest players in cybersecurity include names like Cisco Systems Inc., IBM, Palo Alto Networks, and CheckPoint Software Technologies LTD. These players are making decisions based on their customer’s desire to secure vulnerable data and to prepare for an increased use of the Internet of things.
Cybersecurity solutions are being deployed across a variety of industries, ranging from banking to retail to financial institutions. We should expect that over the next five years the number of companies offering cybersecurity solutions will grow. We should also expect that smaller businesses and individuals will need to invest in more stringent cybersecurity methods as the attacks by criminals become more complicated and more tailored to the individual.
Interesting related article: “What is VPN?“