Knowing the Facts
According to the Identify Theft Resource Center (ITRC), as of October 7, 2014, there have been 589 breaches and 76,681,707 records exposed in the United States. Of the two top five categories, the Business sector experienced 206 breaches and 64,399,800 records were exposed. Likewise, in the Medical/Healthcare category, there were 253 breaches and 7,146,840 records were infringed. The Banking/Credit/Financial, Educational, and Government/Military categories make up the balance of infringements in the workplace. The data is collected weekly by the ITRC and supported by IDT911 (formerly known as Identity Theft 911).
According to collected data, cyber hacking has resulted in more than $12 billion of revenue loss, directly and indirectly, to businesses and to individuals annually. In a recent article from November 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that due to cyber hacking major US retailers suffer 300 big data breaches to their systems resulting in the loss of critical information, customer identities and intellectual property to cybercriminals.
“Demand for cyber specialists has far outpaced the number of those qualified.” - Reuters
There is an urgent need for government agencies, businesses, and academia to bring awareness to cyber professionals in order to fill the talent pipeline and defend against cybercriminals. Information for Science, Technology, and Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculums needs to be proliferated in the K-12 educational years so that young people recognize the opportunities and benefits of becoming a cyber defender. According to some technology watchdogs, discussions related to creating pathways for young people to acquire careers and high-paying employment in cybersecurity in the future have stalled. The need for trained and knowledgeable professionals is paramount in order to keep pace with the significant impact and mounting number of cyber threats that are experienced daily.
“Diversity-minded Employers Seeking Cybersecurity Pros,” in an article written by contributing reporter Arthur Schurr for the February/March 2014 Issue of Diversity magazine. In essence, the article notes that there is a tremendous need to identify a pool of diverse critical thinkers who can fill the obvious void in a “booming career niche”
While the computer science and information technology industries continue to struggle to become viable professions lending credibility to this growing industry, the need to identify and attract people to this growing and immediate problem is increasingly paramount. The cyber crisis is outpacing the potential monetary loss and identification of theft risks while more and more of our citizens lose their sense of comfort in our financial institutions, healthcare systems and more. Cyber threats affect our entire lives ranging from our utility companies (waterways, power, and fuel); education and schools; federal, state and local governments; telecommunications; entertainment and sports; small businesses and non profits; gaming industries; food supplies; and more.
“We can’t succeed in our intelligence mission without a workforce composed of sharp,
creative people who understand the world’s nuances.” - Todd D. Ebitz, CIA