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The Importance of Cybersecurity in 2020

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This pandemic has turned into something more than just a public health crisis. It has caused people around the world to depend more on the internet, and this is causing lots of problems in terms of cybersecurity. In an article on ‘Cybersecurity in the Time of COVID-19’, Council on Foreign Relations cybersecurity specialist David Fidler details how this dependence on cyberspace ‘creates vulnerability’ that, unsurprisingly, is being exploited by cybercriminals.

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In particular, cybercrime globally has been on the rise this year, with unscrupulous individuals sending out phishing emails and inserting malware into online resources tracking the pandemic. Just this May, in fact, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) took down over 1,000 malicious websites looking to scam or misinform Canadians about the government's financial response to the pandemic. The crackdown took place just days after the CSE uncovered attempts to infiltrate and possibly undermine ongoing Canadian research about COVID-19.

These incidents underscore the crucial role of cybersecurity in a world that is spending more and more time in cyberspace. In response, companies worldwide are paying more attention to cybersecurity, with 68% of business leaders recognizing the risk it poses. Despite this many companies are not prepared for a cyber-attack, with only 5% having their folders adequately protected according to data security and analytics experts Veronis.

No wonder that cybersecurity spending is projected to ramp up this year. In fact, is it being anticipated that companies worldwide will spend $42 billion for their cybersecurity efforts this year. And it isn't surprising that companies are now prioritizing cybersecurity spending, as cybersecurity is vital to various aspects of a company’s operations. Most notably in how companies now advertise.

As most companies have now shifted to digital advertising (particularly this year) in order to reach their target markets, so too have the dangers of data breaches and cyber-attacks increased. And with Ayima highlighting how SEO is becoming more affordable and available to every type of business, this also means that there are more opportunities for cybersecurity breaches. As companies look to rank higher on Google, a study on Search Engine Journal found that 73% of SEO agencies now establish whether the client’s site has been hacked previously. Not only did these hacks affect the company’s operations, but also how the public perceived them going forward, particularly when it came to the organic search performance of websites. This is why companies looking to expand their digital advertising operations are now more than willing to invest in cybersecurity. Any breach can cause far-reaching damage far beyond the initial hack.

Finally, a shortage of cybersecurity professionals further underscores the increasing role of cybersecurity in today's pandemic-ravaged world. A CNBC report on this staffing shortage notes how an industry already in need of experts pre-pandemic is now looking for even more help. Specifically, the industry needs around 4 million more cyber experts worldwide to help organizations around the world get the protection they need in their full-on shift to the digital realm.

Business analysis professionals armed with cybersecurity skills are well-positioned to help organizations mitigate these growing risks. If you are looking to upskill your career for a future in the cybersecurity domains choose a certification like a Certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis (IIBA®-CCA) and eLearning materials developed by IIBA and IEEE that focus on knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity key concepts and tools covering industry best practices.

Wondering about the transition from a business analysis role to cybersecurity analysis? Here’s what others have to say about learning cybersecurity concepts from IIBA’s Cybersecurity eLearning Program. One user says, “It best fits my schedule, it’s easy to understand, and watch over and over again until it is clear!” and another says “It has three levels you can use to test your comprehension during the module, at the end of each module, and a full comprehensive check at the end of the program.”

The above points underscore why cybersecurity expertise has become so valuable this year. And as work and social trends shift to become more digital orientated this will continue to be so going forward.

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About The Author:
Rebecca Joelle

Rebecca Joelle is a writer and freelance cybersecurity consultant. She is dedicated to bringing best practices to organizations. She loves to bake in her spare time.