Column: The Growing Opportunities in Cybersecurity

By Niharika Srivastav and Sanjay Saxena-

Niharika Srivastav and Sanjay Saxena

The cybersecurity market is expected to grow from $172.32 billion in 2023 to $424.97 billion in 2030 as per the projections. The number of unfilled jobs in cybersecurity remains at 3.5 million in 2023, with over 750,000 of those positions in the United States.

Why is there so much demand for cybersecurity these days? Digitalization, an increase in attacks, and compliance regulations are just a few of the key factors to consider. 

Digitalization is the process of converting paper information into a digital format so that it can be used by computers. We have seen massive digitalization in this past decade. Our information, which was previously stored in cabinet files, notebooks, and so on, is now available in digital format where we can instantly access it from all our devices from anywhere in the world. 

People use their phones and laptops to do things like banking, grocery, shopping, and more. The amount of time spent on electronic devices has risen dramatically in recent years, as work and social lives increasingly move online. 

Digitalization is more than just converting paper documents to digital formats. Our household items are now digital as well, which means they are linked to the internet. We can now control these devices remotely now that they are online.

There are connected devices all around us—phones, vehicles, and household items like coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves, etc. These connected devices are often referred to as IoT—the Internet of Things. With the introduction of 5G, our devices are more connected than ever before. 5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks. Up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G is creating never-before-seen opportunities for people and businesses.

Users can access data from anywhere on the internet thanks to rapid digitization. The data is accessible not only to users, but also to cyber criminals. We hear about cyber attacks and data breaches almost every day. The growing frequency and severity of cyberattacks on vital infrastructure is widely regarded as one of the most serious problems of the current decade. Recent cyber-attacks support this assertion. In Russia’s war on Ukraine, various destructive cyberattacks were launched against the government and critical infrastructure in Ukraine.

Another factor that contributed to the increase in attacks was the COVID-19 pandemic which dramatically changed how the world does business. Almost overnight, nearly all government and private firms were relocated from an office building to a work-from-home environment. According to the PurpleSec 2021 report, there has been a 600% increase in cybercrime due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic lockdown, cybercriminals were also working from home. They got an opportunity to hone their skills to be more efficient at cyberattacks. Sometimes the attackers have financial motives. Sometimes, they want to disrupt the operations of a company.

To mitigate the risk of cyber attacks, there is an ever-growing list of laws and regulations pertaining to data privacy and security that businesses must adhere to. These regulations vary depending on the industry, type of business,  location, and several other factors. 

Regulations include the Information Technology Act (ITA) in India, Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the healthcare sector, Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU),. In addition to complying with regulations, some businesses may also need to obtain certifications such as ISO 27001 or HITRUST to demonstrate that they have robust security processes in place. This is particularly relevant for SaaS companies, which may need to undergo SOC1/SOC2 audits to assure their clients that their data is secure.

All of these factors have contributed to a growing demand for cybersecurity services and professionals, making this field a highly attractive career option. On the other hand, the complexity of cybersecurity topics, turns people off. They come across words like encryption, decryption, MFA, and so on, and the explanations available do not grab their interest. To address this issue, we spent three years researching, simplifying, and explaining various topics using fun illustrations, comic strips, and real-life examples in our book ‘Security and Compliance: A Must-Have Visual Guide’.


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