The field of cyber security is one that keeps evolving. This evolution is constantly being led by the concurrent major leaps in information systems.
The trend over the past several decades has been the digitization of almost every analogue system. Most of this is in an effort to simplify our daily lives and enhance efficiency and productivity through automation. The digital world manages both simple and complex, mundane and critical tasks.
From smart coffee makers to industrial monitoring systems, everything is being digitized. What this does is continually put information about individuals and corporate entities in digital systems often connected to the internet. As the adage goes, “Information is power”. This couldn’t be more true in our world today where the core element of our digital society is digitized information. Here then, we see why cyber security has risen to the forefront of our digital world.
Can the protection of our information systems keep up with the rapid growth? The bad news is that there is a lot of catching up to be done. The good news is that there is a concerted effort between the public and private sector to give cyber security the priority it deserves.
As is with any field that is in constant evolution, capacity development is always a starting point to keep abreast of the advances. In cyber security, this is even more critical as a shortage of qualified professionals already exists.
How do we accelerate the capacity development process? The obvious starting point is traditional academia. Learning institutions will need to introduce and constantly update training programs in cyber security. These will need to be given proper attention with research, development and advancement of the field encouraged. Though some institutions have started introducing these programs,more needs to be done to ensure there is high quality content delivered by proficient trainers.
Traditional learning programs usually take several years to complete. With the current shortage and the urgent need to address it, alternative programs and platforms are also needed. This is where the public and private sector come in. Short term training programs need to be developed and offer to both new and current cyber security professionals. These programs should be tailored to impart practical skills to the students who can then take up active roles.
Ultimately, the government plays a key role in the protection of it’s citizenry and infrastructure. Government support and advancement of cyber security capacity development is therefore of utmost importance. The e.KRAAL cybersecurity innovation hub is one of the key initiatives established to invest in cybersecurity within the cyberspace domain.