The demand for cybersecurity professionals with the right skills to keep networks safe is in increasing demand after a series of high-level defense industry and private sector breaches.
The breaches, including RSA security division, where duplicates to “SecureID” electronic keys were created, points to serious gaps in cybersecurity defenses as well as a lack of policies or best practices.
The creation of U.S. Cyber Command last year was a major step forward in combating the cyber threat, but experts say there’s still much to be done. Stars and Stripes reports that there has been an “electronic Pearl Harbor” over the past decade with thousands of defense and industrial secrets lost to hackers.
Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications and Northrop Grumman are reported to be the latest targets in a round of attacks which included Google, and the breach of senior defense officials’ private Gmail accounts. Lockheed noted that they are the frequent target of “adversaries from around the world.” Dealing with cyber threats is the new reality, especially for companies with major defense clients and weapons systems information.
The issue of cybersecurity has increasingly become one of national security. Which means new questions will have to be answered as to how private companies and the government work together to prevent attacks. As of right now, the private sector protects its own networks. If hackers and cyber criminals continue to see open opportunities to pick-up government secrets through defense industry, however, that mindset could change.
The defense industry is receptive to government cooperation in cyber defense, says Alan Paller, head of research for the SANS Institute, a consortium for information security training and development. With proprietary secrets and security on the line, the defense industry has too much too lose from these high-profile breaches.
The Pentagon is set to release a 30-page cyber security document later this month which will outline how cyber attacks may be deemed an act of war. Along with the White House’s legislative proposal on cyber security, it’s another step forward in outlining how the United States Government will combat increasing cyber threats. What’s certain is that the need for cyber security experts with the right skills will remain in demand, with more open vacancies than individuals to fill them.