Why developers with cybersecurity skills will be the biggest tech heroes of 2018

Nathan Sykes
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More data breaches, more problems for developers. The rising risks in cybersecurity mean more developers need to improve their skills in this critical field. Nathan Sykes explains why developers with a background in data security are going to keep us safe in 2018.

Cybersecurity is — and always will be — one of the most influential and necessary challenges for business in the current landscape. That makes it increasingly important for designers and developers, who must retain the fundamental elements of it, and embed secure processes into their work.

You see, to fully protect data, sensitive information and digital systems from outsiders, security needs to be baked into the design of a system or application. Security must be a concern from day one, supported from the ground up. That includes data storage and transfer, encryption, authentication or user monitoring and much more.

Every 39 seconds, an attack or breach occurs that will affect one out of three Americans. Compounding that risk, unfilled cybersecurity opportunities will grow to 1.5 million by 2019, highlighting an incredible demand for experienced professionals in the space. Those in the field will not only find their own work weighing on their shoulders, but that talent gap, as well.

These reasons and more lend credence to the fact that the biggest tech heroes of 2018 will be — you guessed it — developers and designers with a background in cybersecurity.

SEE MORE: Why you should be thinking about data privacy and cyber liability

Why a cybersecurity background is beneficial

The benefits of cybersecurity and secure software development practices are vast and traceable. But while improved security is easy to quantify, it’s not always easy to achieve. Sixty-one percent of CIOs in the U.S. claim it’s challenging to find skilled IT professionals today, namely those experienced in cybersecurity. So, it’s no secret those with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience are in high demand. But what does that do for you, outside of earning you plenty of opportunity?

Where are the real benefits of a background in cybersecurity, at least when it comes to development and design?

First, a more secure environment and or application means you can work safer and more efficiently. From a development standpoint, setbacks are going to happen, but an outside threat — such as a data breach or cyber-attack — can outright shut you down for extended periods. Breaches are even more damaging further into development, when you have significant assets and content on the line.

SEE MORE: How AI Is driving a new means of cybersecurity

Perhaps more welcome, a secure development process makes your life a whole lot easier. There are fewer components and updates to work on, launch or manage later if you’ve implemented the security at the foundation. It also makes later revisions much faster and simpler, because you can piggyback on the existing technology.

The rise of data storage, collection and incredibly important information — namely, in the medical and intelligence world — puts an increased demand on secure, reliable protocols. Simply put, new applications and uses mean an increase in data generation, the sharing of said data and a boost in security demand. This all contributes to higher risks, and a greater likelihood of attack for many companies, brands and even individuals. It’s just not feasible to manage the growing need for security without taking it seriously at all aspects of development and design, from initial wireframing and prototyping to the live launch.

Now more essential than ever

Industry analysts predict over the coming year, hacks and breaches will become more common, IoT devices will be compromised more often and attacks will get more severe. Trust — particularly between brands and customers — will become a real casualty as attacks increase.

The experts who can put a stop to these threats — or at least prevent and appropriately deal with them when they happen — will be the true heroes across many industries, including retail, manufacturing, medical and health care and much more.

Any market using modern technology and connected devices is at risk, and developers are the key to decreasing threats. By baking security into the core development of applications and systems, better protection is possible.


Nathan Sykes

Nathan Sykes is the editor and founder of Finding an Outlet where he writes about the latest in business and technology. When he’s not writing about cybersecurity, IoT, big data, and AI you can find him exploring Pittsburgh with a beer in hand. Follow him on Twitter @nathansykestech.

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