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Looking for Cybersecurity and Network Specialists? Take a Rain-Check... They're Out of Stock.

Updated: Oct 1

The demand for network and security experts is growing as fast as the technology is changing.


Technology changes faster than Facebook’s terms of service after a data breach.

Much like users whose data leaked, it can be difficult to separate the hype from reality.


Jobs in computer networking, and especially IT security, are leading the already in-demand tech job sector. Over 58% of enterprise businesses report having unfilled cybersecurity roles according to the 2019 ISACA “State of Cybersecurity” report. The sector is currently at a -3% unemployment rate meaning there are way more openings than qualified candidates to fill them.


Credit: Link11.com

Those figures are only expected to increase in the near future. Cybersecurity Ventures (CSV) estimates that 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings will be left unfilled by 2021. Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for Information Security Analysts to grow 28% by 2026.


The forecast looks bright for more traditional IT careers as well. Network and Computer Systems Administrator jobs are forecasted to grow 6% during the same time period.


The IT security sector is heavily understaffed and that gap continues to grow. As CSV describes it “every IT position is also a cybersecurity position now.” As fast as the industry is changing, and as much opportunity as it provides, keeping ahead of the job market trends and technical changes is more important than ever.



Recent developments in cybersecurity and computer networking

1. Cloud computing

Expect to see continued adoption by both enterprise and consumer customers as well as cross-platform interoperability. For example, Google’s recently announced Anthos allows you to “build and manage hybrid applciations across environments” including both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.


2. Mobile (deployment of 4G, continued improvements to 3G)

3G continues to improve and looks to be about as good as it will get. 4G LTE has spread rapidly however many areas are still lacking coverage.


3. WiFi everywhere

Public WiFi continues to grow with new hotspots popping up daily. Accessibility to areas such as moving vehicles, in the sky and underwater require engineers to design new infrastructure.


4. Fiber optics slow-down

Service providers, such as Google, continue to build the fiber optic infrastructure but the pace is slowing down. Increasing costs of installation combined with increased service provider competition look to be the most likely reasons.


Growing and near-future trends in cybersecurity and computer networking


1. Consumer Data Protection (e.g. GDPR)

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looks to have created “a blueprint for upcoming data security regulations in other markets” as described by PYMNTS.com. This has left thousands of U.S.-based companies scrambling to catch up. Data protection in the U.S. has been lax, at best, and it’s now costing them revenue by closing off E.U. customers.

Even with the groundwork laid out by the GDPR a lot of uncertainty remains. For example, who’s held accountable if data is breached from a shared data resource?

While information security is, and will increasingly be, critical to a variety of sectors some of the most sensitive are at the most risk. The healthcare industry was recently found to be the worst at protecting consumer data.


While many applications are taking consumer data very seriously, such as the the privacy and security focused Brave Browser, most businesses (especially in the U.S.) are way behind. They're now scrambling to catch up to data privacy laws that are just over the horizon.



2. Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT take-over of our everyday devices has only just begun. 50% of all search inquiries are expected to be done via voice (Amazon Echo, Google Voice, etc.) by the year 2020. That, despite the fact that only 16% of Americans owned a smart speaker in 2018. That’s a huge gap just begging for growth.

Newer, and smarter, wearables and appliances (especially in the kitchen) will account for a large portion of it. This doesn’t, however, take into account commercial adoption which, thus far, has been minimal in comparison. The growth of the Internet of Things calls for new and improved security standards to be put in place.


3. Mobile (5G)

The advantages 5G will provide are much larger than just streaming your favorite HD video faster. The decreased latency (from 40 milliseconds on 4G to as low as 10 milliseconds on 5G) will have massive implications on augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and self-driving vehicles. The “future-proof infrastructure” allows operators to evolve the service oriented network likely removing the need for a 6G (despite POTUS demanding it as soon as possible).

The conversion to 5G, though, will require massive infrastructure changes. Say goodbye to cell towers and hello to mini-antennas on top of every structure possible. Infrastructure changes this massive require lots of engineers and architects to implement them.


4. IPv6

IPv4 is quickly disappearing. While we can still buy, sell, and trade old IPv4 addresses we’re already out of stock of new ones to give. While there are other reasons it’s mainly that drought that’s responsible for IPv6’s exponential growth in recent years. In 2018 it was noted that “over 25% of all internet-connected networks advertise IPv6 connectivity” according to internetsociety.org.

IPv6 is often overlooked in educational materials. I, myself, have taken networking courses within the last year that basically stated "we don't use IPv6 yet so don't worry about it". It's important to recognize the change as it's no longer just knocking on the door... it's already sitting at the dinner table.


5. Mesh networks

Mesh networks are a great way to improve the WiFi range in and around your home. It may also be the way to connect rural communities, natural disaster sites and those negatively affected by the repealing of net neutrality laws. We could easily see severe changes to network topology in a wide range of areas.




6. Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning and artificial intelligence is ripe to disrupt nearly every industry. Cybersecurity is no different. Ai is being used for biometric login systems, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and anti-virus/anti-malware software. The CISO of the future will be empowered by Artificial Intelligence.


Conclusion:


Recent trends in computer networking and cybersecurity have drastically changed IT. Expected changes in everything from IoT to 5G to AI look to evolve the space even more. At a negative unemployment rate, meaning more jobs exist than qualified candidates needed to fill them, the sector is chock full of opportunity. Knowing what technology has recently changed, and what is expected to evolve soon, is critical to the near-future success of network and security technicians.


About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicagoland's premiere I.T. staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 20+ years. Named after Chicago's historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland. Now based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP's 250+ employees have narrowed their focus to a single market (Chicago) and 4 core technical areas;

  • Application/mobile/web development and ecommerce

  • Data science/analytics/business intelligence/artificial intelligence

  • Information security/cybersecurity and

  • ERP SAP/Oracle and project management/BA/QA

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