With the fallout from the hacks of TalkTalk, Ashley Madison, Vodafone, and The Carphone Warehouse amongst many others there are major concerns surrounding cyber security. Symantec CEO Michael Brown has been quoted as saying that the global demand for cyber-security professionals is set to grow to six million by 2019 but there will be a shortfall of around 1.5 million, he continued to say that businesses in Wales will not escape the effect.
Farida Gibbs, CEO and Founder of Gibbs S3, commented: “The range and severity of threats, coupled with the desperate shortage of skilled staff means that the majority of British companies are fighting an increasingly complex war with clearly insufficient resources. This issue is compounded by the fact that standing still is not an option – firms need to be far more proactive in beefing up their digital defences as the hackers who are looking to get in are constantly evolving and mutating their attacks.”
Gibbs S3 found that the dangers are not limited purely to larger companies. Recent research from KPMG has found that 70 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises can do significantly more to protect sensitive client data. The same research found that 94 per cent of enterprise procurement departments considered cyber-security protocols to be a key factor in deciding which suppliers to use making some small firms who are unable to provide adequate cyber-security protection significant revenue losses.
Punam Tiwari, Senior Legal Counsel and Data Protection Specialist at Gibbs S3 said “We’ve now seen CEOs of major companies lose their jobs because of cyber-attacks which should be a serious wake-up call about the consequences. Companies should start from the assumption that their systems have been infiltrated by criminals and operate on that basis, yet many businesses are simply failing to act. Companies can no longer afford to casually dip in and out of the market, assuming that they will find qualified people when they need them. There needs to be a greater commitment to data protection and cyber-security training across the UK with businesses also carefully assessing and planning how they will bring on cyber-security experts at a moments notice – whether that is for a crisis scenario or not.”
Albeit a satirical news outlet, The Onion reported that Chinese government officials announced that the country has struggled to recruit hackers fast enough to keep pace with vulnerabilities in security systems. They quoted security minister Liu Xiang as saying, “With new weaknesses in U.S. networks popping up every day, we simply don’t have the manpower to effectively exploit every single loophole in their security protocols,” he allegedly continued “We can’t keep track of all of the glaring deficiencies in their firewall protections, let alone hire and train enough hackers to attack each one. And now, they’re failing to address them at a rate that shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The gaps in the State Department security systems alone take up almost half my workforce.”
When satirical outlets are able to poke fun at a global superpower it is more than evident that there are major issues and concerns which need to be addressed immediately. Only last month we reported on a severe vulnerability in Android, which many carriers are beginning to patch, and back in October, the University of Cambridge published a report stating that 87 percent of Android devices are insecure.