The three pillars of the cybersecurity economy reveal a hacking epidemic which is pushing cybercrime numbers into the stratosphere, pumping up spending on cybersecurity products and services, and creating a cyber hiring hazard for employers.
A look at the three categories:
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts cybercrime will continue rising and cost businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually by 2021. The estimate is based on historical cybercrime figures including recent year-over-year growth, a dramatic increase in hostile nation state sponsored and organized crime gang hacking activities, a cyber attack surface which will be an order of magnitude greater than it is today, and the cyber defenses expected to be pitted against hackers and cybercriminals over that time.
The cybercrime cost prediction includes damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.
The worldwide cyber damage estimates do not include unreported cybercrimes, legal and public relations fees, declines in stock and public company valuations directly and indirectly related to security breaches, negative impact on post-hack ability to raise capital for start-ups, interruptions to e-commerce and other digital business transactions, loss of competitive advantage, departure of staff and recruiting replacement employees in connection with cyber-attacks and resulting losses, ongoing investigations to trace stolen data and money, and other.
IT analyst forecasts are unable to keep pace with the dramatic rise in cybercrime, the ransonware epidemic, the refocusing of malware from PCs and laptops to smartphones and mobile devices, the deployment of billions of under-protected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the legions of hackers-for-hire, and the more sophisticated cyber-attacks launching at businesses, governments, educational institutions, and consumers globally, according to Cybersecurity Ventures’ Cybersecurity Market Report.
Cybersecurity Ventures anticipates 12-15 percent year-over-year growth through 2021, compared to the 8-10 percent projected over the next five years by several industry analysts. It is likely that analyst firms will catch up during the second half of 2016 and update the disproportionately low share of total IT spending which security is expected to account for (over the next 5 years) in their current reports. Many corporations are hesitant to announce breaches they’ve suffered — and the amounts of their increased security budgets — for fears of reputational damage and of antagonizing cybercriminals.
Earlier this year, Cybersecurity Ventures reported that there are one million cybersecurity job openings in 2016 — and that number is projected to reach 1.5 million by 2019. Some experts predict that, by 2019, the demand for cybersecurity professionals will increase to approximately 6 million globally, according to the Palo Alto Research Center.
Non-existent unemployment may be good for candidates, but not for employers. “While zero percent unemployment rates sounds optimal, it creates a lot of challenges for organizations including retention issues, salary inflation, and sub-par candidates getting jobs they are not qualified for” says Veronica Mollica, a Cyber Security Executive Recruiter for the past 14 years and currently Vice President of Business Development at CyberSN. “Companies are going to have to invest heavily in training young cybersecurity professionals who have a combination of technical, business, and soft skills as the talent gap widens.”
Stay tuned for a year end update on the cyber numbers.