Cyber Security is the body of knowledge that encompasses technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Today, we live in a connected world where our lives are totally dependent on technology. From banking and e-commerce, Cryptocurrency, automated vehicles, Voice-activated Home assistants, healthcare, supply chains, EVERYTHING in our daily lives is based on technology and data. That is why today, there are many challenges in this field which creative and passionate individuals can solve through innovation. And It is for this reason that in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk 2016 report, cybersecurity risk is recognized as one of the top commercial risks along with geopolitics, the environment, and the economy.
There is certainly more and more recognition of the need for disruptive innovation in Cyber Security and the necessity to secure the technology and data on which our lives have become so dependent. This is obvious from the increase in the global spending in Cyber Security which has grown exponentially. In 2004, it was USD 3.5 Billion which has grown to USD 120 Billion today in 2017. By 2021, this spending is expected to grow to USD 1 Trillion.
Cyber Security is a vast field and there are many areas where innovation can happen. These include process-based improvements such as in Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Privacy, Policies & Frameworks (NIST, ISO 27001/2, PCI, GDPR) and Awareness & Outreach. There are also significant opportunities in Cyber Security areas such as Cloud Security, Threat Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) Security, Mobile Security, Security Management, Identity & Access Management, Crypto Currency & Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Application Security, Penetration Testing, Fintech & Healthcare Security.
While various countries, including Canada, has been focusing on Innovation, there are still many factors contributing to lack of innovation in Cyber Security. The first of these is to link cyber security innovation effectively to the needs of major industries such as the financial services or Healthcare industry. Secondly, while most leading innovation nations have developed significant clusters of innovation, there is no single centre of gravity, coordination, or systemic catalyst to bring it all together. And of course, there is a global shortage in cyber security talent. There is usually also limited collaboration on applying R&D strengths in related fields to cybersecurity problems. Finally, a strong process need to exist for start-ups to access global Cyber Security markets and sources of capital.
Countries and Organizations taking a leading role in Cyber Security Innovation today can not only better protect their critical and business infrastructure but will also be well-positioned to reap the financial and trade dividends of this growing technology market.