The digital revolution is here. With technology playing an increasingly significant role in everyday life, the world becomes more and more connected through, and dependent upon, computers. Mobile technology, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and the cloud, just to name a few, all mean opportunity and possibility for businesses, professionals, and society but also for criminals looking to capitalize on vulnerabilities.

As we focus on innovation and advancement in technology, we must also focus just as intently on the mitigation of cyber crime, which requires an experienced and educated workforce ready to fill the thousands of open cyber security roles across the nation.

These sobering statistics tell us why:

  • According to Cisco, the number of so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks — assaults that flood a system’s servers with junk web traffic — jumped globally by 172% in 2016. Cisco projects the total to grow by another two and a half times to 3.1 million attacks by 2021.

The Real Cost of Cyber Crime

To understand the magnitude of cyber crime, it helps to look at the costs. According to FBI statistics, hackers extorted businesses and institutions for more than $209 million in ransomware payments in just the first three months of 2016. And that number was way up from the 2015 figure of $24 million.

In 2017, we witnessed ransomware attacks in the billions. The WannaCry outbreak, for example, affected computers in more than 150 countries and by some estimates could cost as much as $4 billion.

But there are additional costs to the victimized business or individual beyond just the money hackers steal. Cisco explains in its 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report (Read more...)