Cyber Security Can No Longer Be Ignored in IT

By Chelsea Babin

2014 has been an excellent year for hiring in IT—with a positive growth every month that exceeds the rest of the market place, it would seem that the industry has little to worry about in the current economy. However, several unfortunate cyber security mishaps have brought about public scrutiny for the industry as a whole.

Older technologies like credit cards—the center of a major breech at Home Depot—have overstayed their welcome and need to be replaced. Newer technologies like Cloud, an emerging favorite of the IT industry have had a scandal of their own involving stolen explicit pictures from a number of female celebrities. Lastly between reports of hospital hacks and mass data collection from the NSA, it’s easy to see why tensions between society and technology are reaching a boiling point. Will this affect the IT industry’s current booming success?

Companies that have recognized these troubling trends have started to add more cyber security, big data and cloud professionals to their teams to handle these sensitive technologies. In fact, they ranked second, third and eighth respectively in a recent report from Dice that found the fastest growing tech skills that employers are looking for. An emphasis on professionals who know how to handle these emerging threats is a good idea for any IT team looking to reassure its clients and customers about the value of their technological services and products.

Apple is attempting to breathe new life into NFC based transactions—a payment technology that’s existed in phones since 2006—to replace outdated magnetic stripe credit cards. If this feature catches on, consumers will be using their phones as mobile wallets more often. With several brand partnerships announced, Apple Pay provides in app and in store opportunities for IT companies everywhere.

If your company deals with sensitive data from customers, clients or other sources, public scrutiny may continue to increase until secure solutions are introduced across the board. These challenges are important to keep in mind if you’re looking to add to your team through the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015. Making room in your budget to hire cyber security professionals and build extra layers of security features before launching a project will be worth the investment.