Cybersecurity: Can We Hack It?

Written by Vanna Mavromatis

The problem stems from a lack of interest among qualified candidates in the cybersecurity field: cybersecurity jobs are in very high demand, but there does not exist a sufficient supply of people to fill them.

As technology has continued to advance, we have allowed it to permeate our everyday lives more and more—from Facebook, to Google, to Apple, there is very little about our identities that is not available on the Internet. Logically, this trend should imply an increased emphasis on security, with funding and attention pouring into cybersecurity more specifically, to keep our information safe.

However, as technology moves forward, cybersecurity practices remain in stasis, hurting consumers whose information is at stake.

In addition, we see hackings getting larger and targeting more sensitive information as technology improves. Despite this trend, consumer behavior hasn’t necessarily changed in the long run. Studies show that though short-term dips in company revenue and reputation occur, both values return to their basal rate in the long-term. “It’s not going to affect the way I do business online,” Francis Zhang ‘21 said. “Look at Equifax. That wasn’t information I could control, I didn’t opt in to that, and it was the most sensitive information released.”

The problem stems from a lack of interest among qualified candidates in the cybersecurity field: cybersecurity jobs are in very high demand, but there does not exist a sufficient supply of people to fill them. Companies are constantly looking for experts, but few appear, leading to a shortage in the market that does not bode well for the safety of consumer information. “Many of the issues arise from human error,” says NYU Stern Professor Bernard Donefer. “The security system did its job. The employees thought it was a false positive and failed to listen to it.”

The cybersecurity industry is likely moving forward, toward more governmental and company-wide regulations, due in part to a significant generational “catch-up” in the importance of cybersecurity. Younger Americans, who are starting to care about the cybersecurity measures taken by the companies from which they buy, will soon become the dominant generation, thus pushing cybersecurity even more significantly into the forefront.

“The [government] has published a set of recommendations online, and we’re also seeing internal standards [for each company],” Professor Donefer says. “The future [of cybersecurity] is a push toward more regulation.”

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