'Augmented Security' is key to filling Canada's cyber security talent gap

14 August 2018 Consulting.ca 3 min. read

The advancement of digital technology undoubtedly brings with it the susceptibility to cyber attacks, and this cyber risk has now gone so far as to act as a deterrent to incorporating the latest technology, according to a new report from Deloitte. The report details a new approach to shore up against cyber risks known as ‘augmented security.’

Just how much is the risk of cyber attacks hindering the progress of technology? According to Deloitte, the deterrent value of the cyber risk – given the magnitude of the consequences involved in a cyber attack – could slow the pace of global technological advancement by as much as $3 trillion over the next two years.

By technological advancement, Deloitte refers to the industry 4.0 paradigm, which entails the integration of a broad range of technologies such as Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data analysis, automation, and machine learning models into the daily functioning of a business, enabling massive improvements in speed and efficiency.The growing cyber risk gapEach of these comes with a plethora of benefits, but also with their individual issues. Artificial intelligence, for instance, is widely regarded with apprehension due to its potential to displace large sections of the workforce. Most of these technologies, however, are susceptible to attacks in the cyber realm.

So firms that wish to adopt industry 4.0 technologies must also invest heavily in cybersecurity capabilities, and some are doing so. However, most struggle with the overwhelming magnitude of cyber risks, unaware of the various dimensions of the risk and the precise improvements required to avoid them.

The report details how the new paradigm of industry 4.0 makes life riskier for firms. For starters, nearly all of these technologies rely on the collection and subsequent proliferation of data and economic value on the online domain, leaving it open to access from anyone with the technical know-how. In some cases, this involves the personal and financial data of consumers, of which there have been numerous high-profile breaches over the past years.Demand for cyber talent in CanadaAnother interesting dimension pointed out by Deloitte is the fact that hackers themselves now have a greater amount of access to more sophisticated technologies, which increases their reach and scope. Add to that the mounting pressure from an increasingly restrictive regulatory framework, and organisations are at a loss about how to deal with cybersecurity in general.

Deloitte’s solution to this problem places talented professionals at its core, advocating that devoting a specialized team of cybersecurity experts to tackle various aspects of the threat is an effective strategy. Many Canadian businesses already appear to have understood the value of people in this scenario.

According to the report, there is currently demand for nearly 23,000 cyber professionals in Canada, a number that will surpass 24,500 by next year and will reach as high as 28,000 by 2021. These figures are sourced by Deloitte from the Information and Communications Technology Council and Statistics Canada.Augmented SecurityHaving placed people at the centre, Deloitte then goes on to advocate an Augmented Security model, which is a multidimensional guideline of sorts for organisations wishing to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure. The model essentially involves the usage of technology itself in a smart way to tackle cyber threats.

For instance, one aspect Augmented Security would involve AI and machine learning based detection of threats. Another involves the automation of repetitive tasks that are associated with cyber security, thereby reducing risk of error. Augmented Security also involves the adoption of cloud-based delivery models, which give a firm greater control over its operations.