“The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates once noted. As the “town square,” the place where people from across the world interact, the internet depends on strong global cybersecurity measures. While some nations have made important strides in cybersecurity, others have not made as much progress.
Cybersecurity Attacks Threaten Organizations Around the World
Few nations may feel safe from cybersecurity attacks. According to the 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status Report conducted by ISACA, formerly the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, 83 percent of the 3,400 ISACA members in 129 countries polled feel cyber attacks are one of the top three threats businesses face today. Only 38 percent of members told the ISACA they feel ready to respond to an online threat.
Brazil Struggles With Cybersecurity
While many international companies are anxious about cybersecurity, Brazil is one country notably struggling to adapt to this technological threat. In May 2016, the South American nation made news for its poor performance in a BitSight study of cybersecurity indicators, according to Dustin Volz of Reuters. The BitSight report found that Brazilian businesses underperformed in areas including machine compromise rates, file-sharing practices, and email security.
The nation’s physical infrastructure was also more susceptible to malware infections, largely because peer-to-peer file sharing occurs on nearly half of Brazil’s corporate networks. File sharing puts corporate networks at risk as users could download files containing malware.
Germany Implements Strong Cybersecurity Measures
While countries such as Brazil struggle to combat cybersecurity threats, Germany is an example of a nation leading the way. Volz reports that Germany has taken steps to protect its networks, imposing fines for anyone found engaging in peer-to-peer downloading. As a result, only 11.6 percent of German companies take part in this risky activity, far less than the one-quarter to one-third of companies downloading from peers in other nations.
Skills Shortage Impacts Global Cybersecurity Progress
According to the ISACA report, a global skills shortage is impacting the progress of global cybersecurity measures. Eighty-six percent of respondents to ISACA’s survey believe a global cybersecurity skills gap exists. This skills gap impacts business owners who plan to hire cybersecurity professionals, with 92 percent who predict that finding skilled candidates will be difficult.
However, more universities have begun incorporating cybersecurity topics into their coursework. According to Kirk Carapezza, writing for the PBS “Newshour,” cybersecurity topics appear in such diverse areas as digital design, programming, and computer operations. In addition, institutions such as Maryville University offer specialized cybersecurity programs. Maryville’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in cybersecurity focus on general, offensive, and defensive cybersecurity. With courses on critical security controls, ethical hacking, network and wireless security, and mobile security, these degrees can help address this skills shortage by training professionals to combat online threats.
Countries around the world understand the part they play in global cybersecurity, yet a serious skills shortage means many nations are powerless to improve their own security measures. Their role can impact not only individuals and businesses with poor cybersecurity within these countries, but also everyone who interacts with these nations online. Through completion of a cybersecurity degree program, your work can help address the problem by improving global cybersecurity.