The modern era is characterized by the widespread application of advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) which, undoubtedly, affect social and economic development worldwide. Businesses are developed through e-Business, while Public Administration modernizes its services to citizens (eGovernment).
The increasing application of ICT as well as the growing use of the Internet for communication information and e-shopping. It have contributed to the increase in cyber threats, both in volume and complexity.
Leading to the malicious exploitation of information security problems , as well as and in violation of users’ privacy. As a result of the above, the protection of information systems is an ever-increasing necessity worldwide, which undoubtedly contributes to the emergence of a growing labour market related to cyber security .
The Challenges of the New Ecosystem
Today, vital functions and infrastructure, such as energy production and distribution, air traffic management, telecommunications, water supply, transportation, financial transactions, health systems, etc., are highly dependent on proper and secure operation of computer systems.
It is obvious that all of the above are the primary targets for cyber attacks, undermining data security and infrastructure resilience.
Using malware, phishing techniques and spyware, it attempts to infiltrate critical infrastructure, crash information systems, and access and exploit personal data. Cyber-attacks are now a common occurrence in the digital life of citizens. Undermining their trust in digital products and services.
Thus, consumers are becoming more and more aware of issues related to their privacy, as well as the security of the products and services they enjoy, while businesses tend to abdicate responsibility and require end-user license agreements.
The result of this situation is the creation of a gap between consumer expectations and real levels of security, the bridging of which is necessary to achieve the digital transformation of society and production .
Software products have many vulnerabilities and are subject to breaches involving both personal information and corporate data. Confidentiality and malware prevention, which can harm users and businesses, are now one of the biggest challenges for software developers, security analysts and consumers of digital products.
Software vendors are often unable to meet security challenges and identify risks, resulting in financial losses and product defamation.
Although the European Union and its respective governments impose data protection measures, most notably the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), software products are not subject to strict security controls, resulting in data breaches and cyber attacks.
But even if security tests are performed, they are not continuous and are not integrated into all stages of software development.
At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) systems are proving vulnerable to a new type of attack, called “artificial intelligence attacks” , in which opponents gain access to systems to change their behavior to serve a malicious purpose.
Given that from a financial point of view “prevention is better than cure”. Software vendors need to effectively implement a secure software development process, emphasizing security stakeholder awareness, early detection of system defects, overall mitigation of inherent business risks, and cost reduction. As a result of timely detection and troubleshooting.
The Financial Impact of Cyber Threats
The rise of cyber malware attacks is increasing global spending on Internet security. Ensuring consumer confidence and Internet security are at the heart of the European Union’s strategy, making the fight against cybercrime one of the most pressing challenges.
Although it is extremely difficult to quantify the financial impact of these cybercrimes, all studies highlight the high costs involved, including costs of forensic research, the violations themselves, post-violation protection, legal coverage, regulatory compliance, etc.
According to several studies, the financial impact of cybercrime has increased fivefold from 2013 to 2019 and with the strength of the GDPR from May 2018 this cost may increase exponentially.
However, the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises can not meet the increased costs posed by cyber security threats, as they do not have sufficient resources, both financially and in terms of human resources, which intensifies the concern of experts, in view of the imminent integration of 5G and blockchain technologies as well as technical intelligence.
Undoubtedly, enhancing the security levels of software products on the market will further help the software industry to be an important pillar of the European Union economy. According to Eurostat data, the Information and Communication Technologies sector alone accounts for around 3% of European GDP.
At the same time, it will contribute to the development and viability of start-ups and small and medium-sized software development companies, which are often unable to meet the challenges of cybersecurity.
To this end, there is a need to create a security framework for the development of reliable software products used in artificial intelligence applications, 5G networks, and human-cantered blockchain technology.
The emerging new reality makes imperative the need for sophisticated cyber threat detection and prevention services. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in global demand for cyber security professionals. For example, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate of information security jobs in the US is estimated at 37% from 2012-2022, and is, without a doubt, much faster than the average in other occupations. This is reflected in the forecast that the overall labor market in cybersecurity is expected to grow by about 165% by 2023, making it one of the fastest-growing ICT markets.
However, in contrast to the rapid growth of the industry, there is a significant shortage of specialized cybersecurity professionals, as such jobs require education, vocational training and in-service training. Consequently, according to the law of supply and demand, the wages of these skilled workers, although they vary according to position, education, experience and industry, are significantly higher than the average,which, according to forecasts, is not expected to change in the near future. Given this market trend, more and more young people are turning to University studies in the field of security, as well as to the acquisition of further skills, through attending Postgraduate Programs, seminars and related certifications, aiming at an immediate vocational rehabilitation, with promising development. high economic returns, in an ever-changing and enticing industry.