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  • Writer's pictureElina V Clavelli

Cybersecurity Trends

As we head off into the weekend, many of us will be checking into trendy new restaurants, old neighborhood bars, or even international airports. We are well-aware of the dangers brought about by geo-tagging, but we just cannot resist our human nature. At present, a nagging part of our consciousness all too frequently produces an urge to share our experiences on social media.

We are all connected, whether we want it or not.

Our interconnectedness is irresistible. Moreover, it is no longer optional. This has led industry experts to believe in a cybersecurity paradigm shift. The new model lends itself to instant alerts, as opposed to intermittent reports. There is no physical perimeter to security management anymore. At a recent Microsoft Azure Government meetup, a Washington-based Developer-turned-CTO stated that “identity is the new perimeter.”

Two-factor authentication and frequent upgrades are the bare minimum. The online community should have bred blatant attacks, like phishing attempts, out of existence by now. Companies must operate under “assume breach” mentality. As in, business owners have to make an assumption that a breach has already occurred, or it is only a matter of time until it will.

When it comes to cybersecurity in government agencies, this paradigm shift lends itself to an interesting future. At the Azure Government event, a retired Army Major General echoed the sentiment that we must “leapfrog instead of making incremental changes.” That is, to keep up with the times, government agencies have to make great strides in upping their fluency in current cybersecurity practices.

With that, we will see greater emphasis on using AI and Big Data Analytics among the tools to keep our data safe. Machine learning as means to catch vulnerabilities will also be a way of the future. Government industry experts foresee an influx of cybersecurity professionals in the Federal workplace. They are already noticing an increase of cybersecurity degrees offered by universities and a greater number of government jobs, seeking qualified candidates in the industry.

The cybersecurity paradigm shift reaches across the global workforce, extending beyond government. Speaking on a “Women Leading Cybersecurity” panel, a psychology expert urged us to think of “cyber hygiene.” Just as washing our hands frequently is common sense in the everyday world, so should be upholding proper practices in cyberspace.

We have to start thinking of everyone as part of cybersecurity workforce. Meaning, it is not just “some guy in the IT department,” who is responsible for keeping a company secure.

Whether your role is in Human Resources, Admin, Customer Service, or anything else really, you are an inadvertent cybersecurity professional.

The psychologist, who aims to bring the “engineering side to human side” in cybersecurity practices of her company, tracks maliciousness in user activity logs. She is trained to recognize patterns that create or expose vulnerabilities. This led her to believe that humans are not the weakest link, but instead the “missing link” in preventing cyber-attacks.

Regardless of personal opinion, we have to buy into the belief system that the entire user community or workforce must be conscientious. Even if your job has nothing to do with IT, you are responsible for a healthy technological environment in your organization. Remember, we are all connected, whether we like it or not. Now, go enjoy that meal or flight to Barcelona. Just don’t do the check-in.

Until later!

Originally published on Medium on October 26, 2018.


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