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UNF Spinnaker

Cybersecurity and the tech industry in light of COVID-19

Darvin Nelson, Features Editor

Technology plays a huge role in today’s world as many aspects of life, such as academics and entertainment, are being moved online and are cyber-connected in some way.

Nimit Maru, Co-founder of Fullstack Academy, says “The I.T. industry was the fastest-growing sector before, during and after the Great Recession, growing 37% from 2003-2013 and seeing an aggressive hiring spike in 2010 after the downturn. Today, demand remains strong despite the biggest recession since 2008. In Jacksonville, 3,224 cybersecurity jobs are open today to qualified candidates, with an average entry-level salary of nearly $70,000.”

Forbes magazine also reported that “Enterprises are predicted to spend $12.6B on cloud security tools by 2023, up from $5.6B in 2018, according to Forrester,” and “Endpoint security tools are 24% of all I.T. security spending, and by 2020 global I.T. security spending will reach $128B according to Morgan Stanley Research.”

The global shift online is opening many job opportunities in cybersecurity, tech, and I.T. (Information Technology) as the digital world expands. 

The cybersecurity market is currently worth $173 billion globally, and will grow to $270 billion by 2026, according to AustCyber.

Spinnaker contacted Dr. Swapnoneel Roy, a professor at the UNF School of Computing, about the status of the cybersecurity industry during the coronavirus:

Spinnaker: What is cybersecurity and how does it work? 

“The field of cybersecurity is aimed towards primarily protecting data and the systems containing them from three different angles:

  1. Confidentiality: Nobody unauthorized can read them.
  2. Integrity: Nobody unauthorized can modify them.
  3. Availability: Data and systems are always available to the authorized.

Protocols, policies, algorithms, are developed and implemented towards achieving one or more of these goals,” wrote Dr. Roy.

Will cybersecurity change in the age of COVID-19? If so, what will it look like? 

“With COVID-19 looming, people are moving online. This will definitely bring cybersecurity into the picture even more. Online applications need to be thoroughly scrutinized for vulnerabilities. Also there is a social aspect that becomes more important – People are looking at online news more than ever. Chances of installing panic or misleading by fake news becomes a serious threat.”

Are there any statistics about the growth of the industry (more jobs, more companies, etc.)?

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for jobs in information security is projected at 37% from 2012–2022. That’s much faster than the average for all other occupations.”

Is there any connection between the high demand of cybersecurity and COVID-19?

“It was growing anyway. The pandemic probably will trigger a bigger rate of growth. The need for people with the knowledge increases.”

Is there a growing threat of cyber-attacks?

“That’s again something that was growing anyway. With the pandemic and more people moving online, threats of cyber-attacks rate increases,” concluded Dr. Roy.

It will be interesting to see how the world will change over the next few decades as the era of the internet continues. There’s no doubt that the future is digital.

___

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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