From the spate of ransomware attacks that hit both major companies and institutions such as hospitals alike in 2017 to the 2018 data breaches that both prompted and were exposed by GDPR, the issue of cyber security has come to the forefront in recent years. 


As more and more companies wake up to the realities of building in safeguards and security to products and services the future and scope of the industry is becoming increasingly vast. We are almost halfway through 2019 now and what have the emerging trends been in the digital realm so far?


The danger to, and of, the Internet of things.

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From thermostats to speakers, children toys to web cams, the internet of things (IoT) is growing at an exponential rate. In the early days of internet enabled items built in security was lax to say the least. Hackers and more nefarious characters alike soon realised that many of these devices had little to nothing to stop them from being accessed by others or were so rarely updated that gaining access to them was incredibly easy.


Consequences ranged from preventing the functionality of the items to the more headline grabbing ability to record what webcams were seeing and even communicate through devices that had speakers and microphones.


While many manufactures have woken up to the reality of these threats it has by no means gone away. The ability to set your kettle to boil for when you get home from work via an app may seem innocuous but according to exerts the new danger in 2019 will be the threat of IoT devices being turned into swarm networks. Mike O'Malley of Radware warns of the ability for these co-opted networks to "opportunistically and simultaneously target vulnerable points in a network".


Expect to see an increase in the use of digital certificates to try and combat these problems as more and more products become available and be vigilant of treating any internet connected item in your home or office as a potential security threat. 


How secure is the cloud?

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The exodus of data to the cloud has already begun but in 2019 we can expect to see this increase tenfold. As current on-site systems come to the end of their life more and more companies are making the switch to storing data remotely. This is in part to the sheer amount of data that many companies now find themselves with, but also because of the growing need to be able to access said data, and even systems, remotely and with ease.


While different cloud systems have been steadily beefing up their own security protocols, the real danger to the security of the cloud is the end users.


With so many people requiring access, there is an even stronger need for back to basics IT security such as strong passwords in order to keep what is stored their safe. The possibility of having to train staff on the importance of only accessing such systems from secure locations and ensuring remote locations such as home computers come up to certain security standards is going to be important in 2019.


Dedicated JobsGlasgow Times: credit: Pixabaycredit: Pixabay


Data Science has been a vital part of many companies for a while now but increasingly data scientist are turning their hand, experience and training to digital security. With so much data now available, keeping it safe has become a big business.


Combine the need to keep personal and industry information safe with the threats posed by the increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks that are possible, and it is easy to see why companies are now employing dedicated cyber security experts.


Something that was once an aspect of an IT professionals job description is now a dedicated series of roles including cyber security managers, cyber security associates, digital security architects, digital security engineers and much more.


As new threats emerge we can expect to see the demand for these roles grow too, along with the rise of recruitment agencies such as Empiric that specialise in finding and providing staff for these types of positions.  


It is also important to note that savvy project managers with a good understanding of cyber security are also in demand to oversee projects that are born out of the need for quick and efficient responses to new security threats, If that sounds like something you would excel at, Empiric has multiple current opportunities in that realm too. 


We have just scratched the surface with some of the top trends for cyber security this year. One thing we do know for sure is that as surely as technology continues to advance so will new and unexpected threats, all we can do is be prepared for them.  


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