Why Organizations Should Start Hiring Cybersecurity Officers
Sun, 18 Aug 2019 || By Ariq Dmitri Andrei

With the ever-increasing threat in the digital world towards organizations, both in the government and private sectors, there is a considerable demand for cybersecurity officers. A cybersecurity officer refers to someone who has the capabilities to maintain an organization’s IT security. A cybersecurity officer’s responsibilities include evaluating the organization’s IT risks, establish the suitable cyber defence systems, protecting corporate data and other cybersecurity-related responsibilities. If an unwanted breach occurs, a cybersecurity officer is responsible for identifying the perpetrators and the damages inflicted, as well as mitigating the breach and strengthening the organization’s cyber defence capabilities to prevent future breaches. A cybersecurity officer generally holds at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or other related fields. A cybersecurity officer also requires certain certifications to bolster their credibility, such as the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or other certifications.

New developments in the IT world also comes with the emergence of new threats. Cyber threats such as ransomware attacks or hacking for data theft may not be considered relevant threats several decades ago, but taking lightly such possible threats can bring devastating consequences to an organization. The frequency of cyberattacks has skyrocketed in recent times. According to a report from McAfee, more than 60 million new malwares were found on the third quarter of 2018, while in total, more than 800 million malwares were found in the same period[1]. Furthermore, it is estimated that a hacking attack occurs every 39 seconds[2]. From this massive intensity, the government sector is the most prone towards cyberattacks, followed by the healthcare sector and the education sector[3]. Malware attacks are the most frequent type of cyberattack, followed by account takeover and data theft[4].

Hence, organizations really need to enhance their defensive cybersecurity capabilities to protect themselves from possible cyberattacks that can occur anytime. On average, a malware attack costs organizations around the world with US$ 2.6 million worth of damage, in which most of these damages come in the form of information theft[5].

Due to the ever-increasing cybersecurity threats, organizations are willing to invest substantially to enhance their cybersecurity. Hence, cybersecurity spending is expected to increase with time. In 2018, the spending for cybersecurity worldwide, both in the government and private sectors amounted to US$ 36.6 billion and expected to rise to around US$ 42 billion in 2020[6]. This increase will lead to new employment opportunities for cybersecurity officers both today and in the future, as the market is in short of approximately 1.5 million professionals with cybersecurity competency in 2019 and will continue to increase in the upcoming years, with no signs of slowing down[7]. The demand for cybersecurity-related positions are increasing at a rapid 37% per year in the United States, and universities are not producing enough graduates to fulfill the existing demand[8].

The role of cybersecurity officers is becoming more relevant due to the increasing amount of cybersecurity threats. This is because, organizations are willing to invest further in cybersecurity and will lead to more demands for cybersecurity officers. Hence, cybersecurity-related positions are highly sought after, and will remain to be so in the foreseeable future.

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Editor: Janitra Haryanto


[1] McAfee, (2018). McAfee Labs Threats Report. [Online]

Available at: https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/assets/reports/rp-quarterly-threats-dec-2018.pdf

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

[2] University of Maryland, (2007). Study: Hackers Attack Every 39 Seconds. [Online]

Available at: https://eng.umd.edu/news/story/study-hackers-attack-every-39-seconds

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

[3] McAfee, (2018). McAfee Labs Threats Report. [Online]

Available at: https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/assets/reports/rp-quarterly-threats-dec-2018.pdf

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

[4] Ibid

[5] Accenture, (2019). The Cost of Cybercrime. [Online]

Available at: https://www.accenture.com/t00010101t000000z__w__/nz-en/_acnmedia/pdf-96/accenture-2019-cost-of-cybercrime-study-final.pdf

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

[6] Statista, (2019). Spending on Cybersecurity Worldwide from 2017 to 2020. [Online]

Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/991304/worldwide-cybersecurity-spending/

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

[7] PricewaterhouseCoopers, (2019). The Cybersecurity Talent Gap. [Online]

Available at: https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/cybersecurity/library/broader-perspectives/cybersecurity-talent-gap.html

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

[8] Armeding, T., (2019). Cybersecurity: Not Just "A" Job - Many Jobs Of The Future. [Online]

Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/taylorarmerding/2018/10/09/cybersecurity-not-just-a-job-many-jobs-of-the-future/

[Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].