Can we ever eliminate cyber security threats?

High profile data breaches have frequently made the headlines over the last few years, with household names and respected tech brands like Facebook and Uber falling victim to large scale attacks. The fact that some of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world have been duped by such attacks highlights just how difficult the situation is.

Cyber-attacks may not be a new concept, but they’re certainly increasing in volume. The growing sophistication of attacks means that measures which once worked to prevent or minimise damage no longer have any effect.

The problem

As the volume of attacks, alerts and threats increases, IT teams are put under increasing pressure. Each potential cyber security threat flagged by the system needs to be explored to determine its credibility and the impact it could have on the business. If a serious threat is identified then the team must take further action to prevent or minimise damage.

Across the world there’s a chronic computer science skills shortage, and the picture is no different in the UK. Businesses are already stretched as the number of unfilled tech roles is set to grow from the current level of 600,000 to 1 million by 2020, couple that with an increase in workload due to the proliferation of cyber security threats and it is perhaps easy to see why so many businesses are struggling to fend off attacks.

The solution

There are many options when it comes to technology which can help prevent attacks. Researchers are developing new ways to fend off threats all the time. More and more frequently, companies are deploying artificial intelligence (AI) in order to support IT teams and free up some of the time it takes to identify legitimate threats. There are now a plethora of cost-effective products available to businesses which utilise AI, data and machine learning to help detect breaches, helping IT teams to detect attacks faster and more accurately, to minimise their frequency and severity.

Taking this time-consuming work away from IT departments frees more time up to shore up cyber defences: ensuring that employees are informed of how they could be used as a conduit for an attack through phishing scams; looking at the security of legacy software; checking old code to ensure there are no weaknesses which could be taken advantage of.

It is unlikely that we’ll ever be able to entirely eliminate the threat of cyber-attacks, but with an increased use of AI, businesses are able to manage the threats more effectively. It takes skill and an in-depth understanding of cyber security issues to implement and maintain these systems. This is why the University of York has introduced the 100% online MSc Computer Science with Cyber Security, for ambitious individuals looking to move into computer science roles.

The course covers specific topics such as cyber security threats and security engineering. It also covers key areas of computer science expertise, including advanced programming and artificial intelligence, giving ambitious students the skills required to pursue a career in cyber security.

There’s no need to take a career break or juggle family commitments as the course is delivered 100% online, with all programme materials accessible from a wide variety of devices at any time. There’s also a choice of six start dates per year and a pay per module option which eliminates the need for a large upfront payment. All this means you can earn a prestigious Masters degree from a Russell Group University in a flexible way that suits you.

Find more information and to begin your application.