You probably didn’t think about cyber security when you paid online or downloaded an app, but heads up! The cyber world is more complex and sophisticated than ever and affects nearly every aspect of daily life. Nowadays, cyber criminals can use technology—even your own devices!—against you to steal information or even cause physical harm. 2016’s new threats are so real that even the Whitehouse is investing $14 billion in cyber security funding.
Here are the top 5 computer threats for 2016—are you safe?
- Cyber Terrorism
- Online Extortion
Cyber extortion builds on the idea of ransomware, computer malware that locks your computer unless you pay a certain ransom. With technological advances and increased interconnectivity, cyber criminals can now launch personalized attacks and demand “ransoms” using people’s reputations, business’s proprietary info, and personal information. Trend Micro, an expert in cyber security, announced in this year’s security preditions report that 2016 will be the year of online extortion.
- Mobile Malware
You may want to rethink all of the personal information you access through apps: mobile malware is more malicious this year. According to IT Pro Portal, 17% of apps contain malware, a percentage that could double this year unless app security improves drastically.
- Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing in the cyber world. It is communication between “things” like your phone and your TV, thermostat, or even washing machine. There are even cars that have their own Wifi and can be controlled by an outside device. It’s amazing technology that enables these machines to collect and exchange data, making life a little easier. However, IoT brings huge, new security risks. Now cyber criminals can hack into more than just your phone, turning virtual threats into physical dangers.
- Shortage of Cyber security Specialists
With growing technology and cyber secruity risks, there are more and more cyber security jobs that go unfilled. According to Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the world’s largest security software vendor, “The demand for the [cyber security] workforce is expected to rise to 6 million [globally] by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million.” With such a dearth in the market, cyber security software engineers can make the big bucks. A lack of specialists may be a threat to many and a golden opportunity for you.
Our nation’s success in combating conventional terrorism has driven terrorists to use unconventional weapons—like cyber terrorism. A new breed of computer-savvy terrorists could cause disaster on a national scale, but don’t panic. The United States Institute of Peace evaluated the risk and stated that the threat is real and cannot be ignored, but may be exaggerated.
The cyber world is exciting; it changes the way we live, work, study, and play. However, it also makes us more vulnerable to theft, extortion, and attack. 2016’s rise in threats is creating new jobs in the computer industry. If you are already a computer pro or studying to become one, search for cyber security job opportunites: companies are hurting for people like you.
Interested in fighting these cyber threats? 2016 is the perfect time to enter the field. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks information security analysis careers as the 8th best job and 15th best-paying job in the country. As for the future of this career, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth rate of 36.5% in the next 6 years.
Check out Career Step’s Computer Tech training program to learn more about how you can take the first step into this in-demand field. Career Step’s program can help you get your foot in the technology industry, giving you a great foundation for the additional training and certifications required to work in cyber security.