Digital transformation is much more than just a buzzword for bleeding-edge tech gurus, and the accelerated pace at which it is being adopted by enterprises of all sizes is opening up a whole new world of possibilities. With the promise of new and exciting developments in cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), we are once again on the cusp of a revolution in connectivity – and everyone wants a piece of the action.

However, with increased connectivity comes greater risk, and across the board, companies are quickly catching on to the threats posed by hackers and automated attacks. This year alone, a number of high-profile data breaches have made the news, and even the largest multinational corporations are struggling to keep pace with a landscape constantly in flux. Facebook faced the most significant attack of its 14-year history in September, with a reported 50 million users affected. Cryptocurrencies are under increasing strain to close ranks and protect users, and then, of course, there’s a litany of smaller attempts to access our mobiles devices, computers and servers every day.

It is clear that the threat to all industries is a growing concern. Even the smallest of breaches can cost companies an enormous amount of time, money and brand reputation. These issues are not going away any time soon, and as we become increasingly hyper-connected, companies must be ready for whatever the future holds. So, how do you prepare for an uncertain future? How do you remain vigilant in the face of an ever-growing threat?

People Power

By 2020, it is estimated that there will be around 30 billion IoT devices worldwide. That’s about four times the current global population. However, despite a general rise in automation and the ubiquity of digitally connected tools in the workplace, the future of cybersecurity is very much people-powered. The recent Facebook hack is arguably a case in point. In August, the company’s chief of security parted ways with Facebook, and rather than replace him, the company decided to “decentralize” its cybersecurity structure. A little over one month later, the world was waking up to news about the largest hack in the company’s history, the fallout of which has affected both its users and its staff.

Today, cybersecurity is big business, and the companies on the cutting edge of this nascent industry are earning big bucks. Companies investing in better training for staff members are ensuring that the right skills and knowledge sets are integrated into larger cybersecurity frameworks. The right training helps keep data secure and thwarts exploits from both within and outside the organization, helping to encourage security measures that keep pace with the fast-moving nature of cyber threats.

The Right Skills

Perhaps unsurprisingly, companies looking to hire the best cybersecurity professionals are discovering that there is a distinct lack of viable candidates. It has increasingly fallen to individuals to complete the requisite qualifications and gather much sought-after experience on their own. For companies, particularly those in the midst of digital transformation, the advantage to training existing employees is clear: Once your existing staff has the required skills and knowledge, they will be worth their weight in gold.

If your enterprise has an IT team, then the base skills required to become fluent in cybersecurity are likely already present. However, training professionals should look to create opportunities for staff members to learn about how to detect threats, attacks and vulnerabilities; how to configure and use the latest technologies and tools; how to implement secure network architectures; and how to implement risk management best practices.

Other elements of a comprehensive training program should include advanced cyber-incident response planning; research, development and collaboration methods; and, for larger enterprises, advanced penetration testing. High-quality training and access to a broad range of resources are crucial; however, with the right programs and subsequent qualifications, companies can actively set benchmarks and best practices for the future of the cybersecurity industry, while providing the best protection for their data and systems.

A More Secure Future

Staying one step ahead of the many and varied threats is a challenge; however, ensuring that staff remain certified and apprised of the latest developments in an ever-changing sector is also a priority, particularly as digital transformation becomes ubiquitous. Increasingly, training professionals are looking to leading providers of vendor-neutral IT certifications to fill the skills gap that currently exists within most companies. Non-profit trade associations are crucial to address shortages in the cybersecurity industry, and through a range of comprehensive IT training programs and regularly updated resources, they are helping companies of all sizes ensure a more secure future.

Finally, employees are also keen to access higher-paying, in-demand careers, particularly as jobs across a broad range of industries become automated. For any company currently transitioning to digital, training departments hold the answer. For training professionals, it is a matter of connecting the right staff members to the right training programs. In the end, the future of cybersecurity lies firmly within the hands of people, and by actively fostering an atmosphere of lifelong learning, companies will be better prepared for the explosion of digitally connected devices and the inherent risks posed by their adoption.

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