Cyber Security - A Big Opportunity For Developers

In my previous tech trends focused article, AI-Assistant Devices Create Opportunities For Developers, I wrote on how large an opportunity smart speakers brings for developers.

In this article, I will cover another growing tech trend, cybersecurity, that has a growing need of experts, and presents a big opportunity for developers and IT professionals who are looking to secure their future.


Last month, we found out that millions of Uber drivers' and riders’ data was stolen by a hacker and Uber paid hundreds of millions in return to delete the data. All the unknowns aside, each month, you will hear major news related to cybercrime. I don’t see any slowing down of this trend. The more data that goes to the Web (so-called cloud and big data), the more data vulnerability grows.

As a matter of fact, the cybercrime rate has grown exponentially in recent years. According to a report published by SC Media, Web application attaches are up 69% in the past 12 months.

The following table lists some of the facts about cybercrime.

For obvious reasons, the U.S. is the most targeted country by cybercriminals. The following is a list of the top 11 countries that are targeted by cybercriminals and hackers.

Cybercrime is probably the most reported crime in the world in 2017 (#2 in 2016).

  • 61% of CEOs are concerned about Cyber Security
  • 32% of organizations are affected
  • Only 37% of organizations have a cyber incident response plan
  • SQL Injection is responsible for 62% of attacks

Rise of data

A big opportunity comes with a big risk. And, this big opportunity that brings the big risk of cybercrimes is called big data. In addition to big data, IoTs, cloud, smart homes, smart cars, and anything that is connected to the Internet increases the risk. The amount of data being transferred on the Internet, the amount of data being stored in the cloud, and the amount of data being consumed by consumers is the reason for this chaos.

90% of the world’s data is created in the last 2 years.

Today, 3.7 billion humans are connected to the internet via 2.3 billion smartphones and over 6 billion smart devices. So, what are all these devices doing? Nothing but transferring the data from one place to another place, one person to another person. According to Google, there are 3.5 billion searches every day, which adds up to 1.2 trillion searches per year. Almost every device is connected to the Internet and streaming YouTube, Netflix, Sports, video chats or some other kind of live streaming.

The data creation is growing so fast that more than 90% of data has been created in the last two years. Let’s take a look at some of the activities that happen in 1 minute on the Internet.

So, how much data do we generate daily? According to an IBM post, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Based on current trends, the data size is expected to grow 40-times by the year 2020.

  • 103 million spam emails sent
  • 3.6 million Google searches
  • 4 million users watch YouTube
  • 15 million texts
  • 527k Snapchat shares
  • 456k Tweets
  • 154k Skype calls
  • 103 million
  • 45k Uber trips

According to MarTech, the total data size of the Internet is 2.7 Zettabytes until 2017. The data size is expected to grow to 44 Zettabytes by 2020 based on an article published on Forbes in 2015. But in the past 2 years alone, data has grown so much that I would not be surprised if total data size passes 50 ZB.

Data in size

Data breach and growth of the Web.

There are more roughly 1.3 billion websites that host close to 4.52 billion web pages on the Internet. In the past few years, technology innovation and the size of data has grown so fast, technologists are just playing a catchup game and can’t keep up with the speed. Many businesses run on obsolete technologies. That leaves many websites insecure and vulnerable. Here is a list of some of the key reasons for security breaches.

  • Businesses can’t keep up with the latest technologies and fall behind on upgrading systems including hardware, software, security patches and so on.
  • Businesses don’t have expertise or time to implement best practices.
  • Business owners don’t enforce strict login credentials including regular change of user ids and passwords.
  • Databases are not encrypted.
  • Data transfer methods are not secure.
  • Unexperienced developers write code and lead to problems such as injection, broken authentication, cross-site scripting, security misconfigurations, insufficient logging and exception handling and monitoring.

The top three causes of data breaches are malicious or criminal attacks (47%, cost $156 per record), human error (28%, cost $128 per record), and system glitches (25%, $126 per record).

"Cyber Crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world"
Ginni Rometty, IBM Corp.’s Chairman, President, and CEO.

One of the main reasons of data breaches and hacking is web developers and administrators do not follow security standards and protocols. Check out How to build Secure Websites to build robust and secure websites.

The opportunity

Innovations such as IoT, autonomous vehicles, cryptocurrencies, robotics, and apps will continue to fuel data growth but we must be prepared for that. IT professionals and software developers are the gatekeepers of data. IT professionals and networking administrators are responsible for hardware and network security, and software developers are responsible for building secure applications. Data breaches can easily be avoided by implementing best practices and latest upgrade tools. It is also up to the upper management to start implementing security best practices and employee awareness programs. Let’s take a look at the following list of some of the common reasons of data breaches and cyber-attacks.

  1. Up to date with hardware including firewalls
  2. Implement filter and monitoring in incoming traffic and file downloads
  3. Up to date with security patches and latest software
  4. Sensitive data is encrypted
  5. Best practices for authentication and authorization
  6. High standards for passwords policy including length, complexity, encryption, and frequent changes.
  7. Standard policy to audit and monitor logs, exceptions, and errors
  8. Secure websites including data transfer and code
  9. Best practices for application development
  10. Secure data transfer via APIs
  11. Monitor inbound and outbound traffic and implement fraud detection tools
  12. Education and awareness for employees from top to bottom

Most of the companies want to implement security best practices but due to the lack of knowledge, expertise, finances, and awareness, they are unable to do so. And this is why it is good for developers and IT professionals. Check out How to build Secure Websites to learn more.

According to a report by IDC, there will be a shortage of 3.5 million cybersecurity experts by the year 2021. If you’re looking for a career change or a new opportunity, cybersecurity is one of the hottest fields and will continue to be for next several years.

Research References


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