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November 08, 2019

Latest Cybersecurity Problems: Full Employment, 5G, Wall Street and Insider Threats

1) Employment: We start the week with another reminder of the dire situation in cybersecurity employment. In short – the global workforce would need to grow by 145% to meet existing demand.

In the U.S. alone, we need another 500,000 workers.

Thanks to the shortage, half or more companies say they are at moderate to extreme risk.

The top state for cybersecurity employment is Virginia and the state is short 4,570 jobs at the moment.

To help the Big Apple with it’s cybersecurity needs, Israel’s cybersecurity think tank and company creation platform Team8 announced Tuesday it will partner with New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to boost the city’s cybersecurity sector through its Cyber NYC initiative.

Israeli venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and Tel Aviv startup network SOSA have already partnered with the city to take part in the initiative.

The partnership with NYCEDC will focus on three tracks. The tracks include training and developing talent, growing New York City’s cyber ecosystem and identifying the next big breakthrough idea from the academy, the company said.

2) 5G is set to revolutionize numerous industries and vastly increase corporate productivity. For example, the density of IoT devices supported on 5G will be exponentially greater than 4G. This is great for smart farming, factories and select offices. Other affected areas will be autonomous vehicles as well as AR/VR glasses and goggles.

The challenge of course is figuring out if the new wireless standard is impervious to attacks – prior to it being universally adopted in our offices and homes. Before it is hooked up to medical equipment in hospitals and doctor’s offices.

As a result, on Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, called on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to require cybersecurity standards for wireless carriers rolling out 5G services. Wyden is a leading senator on cybersecurity issues.

"For all of the opportunities that 5G will unlock, it will also create new challenges," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. "When 5G is embedded in almost every aspect of our society and economy, from businesses to homes, hospitals to transportation networks, manufacturing to the electrical grid, that means securing our networks will become much more important, and much more difficult."

3) Insider threats became an issue once again when it was learned the Saudis recruited Twitter workers to spy on critics.

Earlier this year, we reported on insider threats which took place in Maryland where the Baltimore mayor ordered a cybersecurity review after a city employee was found with hacking tools on his computer. The former IT worker reportedly gave himself special access to the computer of city's Public Works director.

4) Share prices of companies which are breached take a short-term and long-term hit according to new Comparitech research.

The average share price of a company disclosing a data breach falls by 7.27% but the full impact may not be felt until 14 market days or more have passed.

Breached companies continue to underperform 12 months after disclosure. While share prices grew by 8.38% on average, they would underperform on the NASDAQ by -6.49 percent. Two years later, stock price rises by approximately 12.78% but underperforming continues by -13.27%.

This is an entirely new cost to consider when factoring in the need to spend on cybersecurity.

If we were to look at the market cap of Equifax which is currently $16.22B, an increase of 13.27% would equate to a market cap of $18.37B or more than $2B lost!

In short, cybersecurity issues are getting worse while the hiring situation is also getting worse. Or a lose/lose.

Here are some tips to keep your organization secure.

How do you stay secure or at least drastically reduce the risk? Just follow these three steps. Good luck!

1) Read cybersecurity essentials – a simple list which will help most organizations become far more secure.

2) Go to a phishing simulation vendor now and sign up for one of their offerings. Phishing BoxKnowBe4 and Phish360; are all great. This is needed to train workers by testing them without their knowledge by sending real-looking emails to their inboxes. If they click, they are immediately trained on what not to do.

3) We also recommend you get a free evaluation of your cybersecurity risk from an MSP/MSSP immediately – they can also help you build in the needed compliance to reduce the risk of being fined.

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