What Issues are Rising in the Cybersecurity Space

Posted on May 08, 2015

From an outside perspective, cybersecurity is an especially interesting field because of how fluid the concept has been in recent years. New ground is broken on a regular basis as recently developed technologies are introduced and used. The results can appear as a race between cybercriminals and the IT and security professionals to find the latest edge.

Of course, for businesses, there's not very much exciting about the potential for an informational breach or the theft of sensitive data from servers. The regularly shifting dynamic means that companies have to keep a finger on the pulse of trending cyber defense issues and consider the ramifications whenever a new technological system or network is incorporated into operations. Here is a look at a few issues that have recently risen in cybersecurity:

"Basic needs such as server upgrades can't be neglected in overall cybersecurity management efforts."

Server security
An article from Network World highlighted the vulnerability of some parts of seemingly protected systems in a recent article. Specifically, a maritime cybersecurity company researching server security found that more than a third of Microsoft servers hadn't been improved with a vital patch more than a month after the corrective piece of code was publicly issued. No matter how secure other areas of a company's IT systems are, an easily breached server opens the door for a host of malicious attacks.

While the percentage of unprotected servers comes from a specific investigation of maritime cybersecurity, it's a reminder that basic needs such as server upgrades can't be neglected in overall cybersecurity management efforts.

Industrial Internet and connected devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a widespread reality as both industrial- and consumer-based appliances, tools and systems send data about usage and other concerns to central databases. VentureBeat highlighted recent discussion of IoT vulnerability at the RSA Conference held in San Francisco at the end of April, noting that more connected devices means more vulnerabilities and opportunities for hackers to break in and access sensitive information.

One important distinction to note when it comes to the IoT is that many of the networks and systems used to transmit and manage the data are partially or fully automated. VentureBeat said this vulnerability is only starting to be considered among significant users of such technology. The noticeable growth in this field has been marked by the emergence of some cybersecurity businesses specializing in protecting the networks that serve the IoT.

A competition for notoriety and funds
Although the story doesn't directly involve malicious attacks on privately held servers, discussions of where the hypothetical center of future cybersecurity efforts will emerge are nonetheless interesting. The final location of a potential hub for security technology development and employee education and training will have a significant impact on the future of these efforts.

Yahoo News reported that cities and municipalities across the country are vying for the title, with some viewing the designation as one that could eventually carry the same weight as the term Silicon Valley. Yahoo pointed to Florida, Maryland, California and Texas as just some of the states trying to get in on the presumed cybersecurity boom early.

There are two major factors that are powering the cybersecurity expansion and the quest on the part of various cities to get in on the action. The first is the very real growth that the field is continuing to experience, providing the money that fuel development and expansion. The other is low startup costs, with Yahoo noting these financial obligations are significantly less than for many other businesses.

The most important takeaway for companies outside the industry itself is that the final location of the Silicon Valley of cybersecurity will have a large impact in terms of employee education, access to resources and the development of new tools for such endeavors.

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