2021 has been a dramatic year for most industries, including the cyber security industry. The widespread movement to remote working as a result of Covid-19 has provoked a new wave of threats for both businesses and individuals. The plethora of attacks has created even more demand for cyber security specialists, outstripping the supply of labour in the sector and causing a subsequent rise in employment opportunities within the tech industry, and a demand for employees with cyber security skills.
These attacks have caused cyber security insurance prices to increase by unprecedented levels, and more and more businesses increasingly searching for better methods of protection and prevention. This is a change from previous years where businesses would rely solely on reimbursement through insurance schemes.
It is through the study of current trends that we are able to garner an understanding of future possibilities and the trends that may be soon to come. So, what do 2021’s trends inform us of what to expect from 2022?
2022 will be a keystone year, marking a deeper transition into the data age. Trends seen in 2021 will continue, forcing society to make changes to our collective perception of cyber security. We’ve compiled a list of the top 4 cyber security trends the industry will experience in 2022, as well as some potential positive effects that these trends will have on the industry’s job market.
1) 2021 saw a continued increase in cyber attacks and this trend will likely continue into 2022
The rise of cybercrime and the increasing threat of cyber security breaches have grown substantially over the last ten years, especially in 2021. Cybercriminals preyed on the vulnerability of the global supply chain, with frequent ransomware attacks and supply chain attacks crippling national economies and severely damaging world government relations. The most successful cyber attacks tend not to be orchestrated by an individual however, rather by organisations that normally have ties to a country or government.
An example of this is the SolarWinds supply chain compromise, which the U.S has attributed to Russia. This has fast become arguably the most serious compromise in the history of the industry, and clearly highlighted that the world is in dire need of new ways to protect our vulnerable systems to defend against the relentless attacks by bad actors. Our current methods of cyber security are vulnerable and weak, detection is difficult, and prevention has an uninspiringly low level of innovation.
In 2022, security leaders within the cyber security industry will have to make strategic moves to embrace innovative and new methods of prevention and protection. The predominant way this can be done is through expansion, bringing more cyber specialists on board, embracing the different opinions all individuals can bring to the table, and encouraging a new culture within the cyber security industry that is open to innovation and upheaval – for the better.
2) 2022 will likely bring a collective increase in the role cyber security plays in national defence
With 2021 seeing a continued increase in cyber-attacks, it became understood that the frequency of these attacks will continue to grow, and the severity will worsen. That is, unless governments take pre-emptive action against security challenges, increasing spending in the cyber security sector and embracing it as a primary part of national defence.
The age of conventional warfare is over. It is the cyber age, and in a time of digital transformation, governments are well aware of this. 2021 has seen large increases in cyber-security spending across world governments, and this budgetary trend is expected to continue. Expanding demand in the cyber security sector’s job market, caused by the general need, means that there are not enough trained specialists to fill the newfound demand. This should carry through to real wage growth, making a job in cyber security very desirable and rewarding.
3) Big business is being increasingly targeted by threat actors and cybercriminals; a trend expected to be prominent in 2022
With access to malicious software becoming widespread and cheap it is no surprise criminals are adapting to this new level of accessibility and embracing the extortion of big business for financial gain. Ransomware in particular is being used relentlessly, paired with individual phishing attacks targeting the company’s employees. This combination is only so effective because of the vulnerability of the individual employees who have very limited understanding and education in this field.
Mass increase in security breaches has meant that cyber-crime insurance prices have gone through the roof, causing businesses to look for alternative methods of prevention, rather than reimbursement. Looking at this situation from a cyber security perspective, this means more jobs and better-paying employment opportunities as companies move away from conventional methods of security to more expansive and innovative methods.
4) Companies will need to redouble their efforts to defend their machine learning programs from cyber attacks
Globally, more than half of big businesses are already using data science and machine learning in the daily running of their enterprise. These programs are playing an increasingly essential role, however they don’t make companies immune, and can still remain extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks (especially in the learning phase).
During the learning phase, bad actors can infiltrate the program and tamper with the input, compromising the results of the machine learning program. In extreme cases, this can dismantle critical processes and even put lives in danger.
Knowing this, firms and businesses in 2022 will have to increase efforts to defend against the corruption of these programs. Predominantly this will be done through extensive hiring programs searching for cyber specialists to protect these programs which businesses now rely so heavily upon.
2022 will be a year to remember for all those involved in cyber security. We are on the precipice of major structural change which will impact all stakeholders within both private and public sectors across the globe. In recent years, rogue agents have held the upper hand, however education standards are improving, and the world is becoming more capable to stop these attacks.
This means in 2022, the world will see unprecedented demand for cyber specialists who will be key in defending against and preventing cyber attacks. Will you be on the frontlines? Book a career consultation now to find out if you’ve got what it takes.