There are many reasons why some people think consumer privacy is dead or having a near death experience. Data privacy used to be regarded as a basic right which no one really talked about because it was simple, expected, and guaranteed, but the Internet changed everything. Today, consumers can never be fully anonymous because almost any form of online activity, including communication and data search, creates data “that can be collected, aggregated, and analyzed” according to Henry Bagdasarian. In some instances, it becomes even possible to retrieve the seemingly de-identified information and use it for unauthorized purposes.

6 Reasons Why Consumer Data Privacy is Dead

Decreasing difference between private and identifiable data is recognized at the governmental level, which proves that expecting privacy is naïve. In its report published years ago, the Federal Trade Commission raised concerns about “the diminishing distinction” between de-identified and personally identifiable information. Therefore, the “death of privacy” goes far beyond conspiracy theories.

Based on our observations of the latest incidents and trends, consumer privacy appears dead no matter how much consumers expect it or organizations, industry experts, and regulators try to ensure the confidentiality of personal information and reassure consumers that all their personal data is in good hands. As we observe the latest trends and news, we have a hard time reconciling consumer expectation of privacy with consumer behavior as they post so many personal information on social media. That said, we can’t fully blame the consumer for dead privacy as companies and regulators also bear the blame but we have come to believe that regardless of whose fault it is, sadly, data privacy is either dead or on cardiac arrest which will take a huge collective effort to save.

6 Reasons Why Consumer Privacy is Dead

Although there are many reasons why consumer privacy is facing challenges, below is a list of 6 main reasons why privacy is in trouble with some explanations and solutions:

Data Breach

As we all know, there is no shortage of data breach incidents these days and each case seemingly leads to a larger volume of lost or stolen data despite increasing privacy regulations and oversight. To consumers, it doesn’t matter if the data breach was due to a hack or human error, however, due to increasing frequency of data breaches, we have become immune to hearing or reading about millions of data records being compromised. You can easily search for the list of the latest data breach cases from the Internet but a couple of cases include 1) the Marriott International case which got the personal information of 500 million users such as passport numbers, contact info, and credit card numbers into the wrong hands and 2) the 2017 Equifax data breach which resulted in the theft of credit card and driver’s license info, birth dates, Social Security Numbers, and addresses of nearly 150 million people. Equifax settled the case and offered credit monitoring and cash to its victims.

Illegal Data Collection

In September 2019, Google agreed to pay $170 million to settle allegations that its YouTube video service collected personal data on children without their parents’ consent. Despite the agreement, some lawmakers and children’s advocacy groups complained that the settlement terms aren’t strong enough to rein in a company whose parent, Alphabet, made a profit of $30.7 billion in 2018 on revenue of $136.8 billion, mostly from targeted ads.

The company agreed to work with video creators to label materials aimed at kids and said it will limit data collection when users view such videos, regardless of their age.

In addition, people should no longer expect confidentiality because many websites manage to track users’ activity without their permission. For instance, the so-called canvas fingerprinting used by thousands of websites allows collecting data on people’s online activity without informing them. This technique, as well as the use of cookies, enables websites to keep track of the user’s activity and offer invasive ads based on the identified consumer preferences. In some instances, online targeted ads also reveal sensitive information about the user.

Also, let’s not forget the zillion of mobile apps that people download on their phones and allow the apps to access a multitude of their cell phone features and data.

Illegal Data Sharing

Some companies may share or sell consumer information with third parties without consent. In 2018, it was revealed that Facebook had provided Cambridge Analytica, a consulting company, access to the personal data of 80 million Facebook profiles without their consent and used the information for political advertising purposes. The fact that the company continues to operate and earns millions of dollars after the scandal without any concrete changes confirms that privacy is dead.   

Government Spying

In August 2019, it was revealed that Huawei Technologies Co., the world’s largest telecommunications company which dominates African markets, has sold security tools that governments use for digital surveillance and censorship.

It was revealed that technicians from the Chinese powerhouse have, in at least two cases, personally helped African governments spy on their political opponents, including intercepting their encrypted communications and social media data, and using cell data for tracking purposes.

In another case, the Trump administration applied to reauthorize a National Security Agency (NSA) spying program that had gathered millions of U.S. citizens’ call records. If you can remember, in 2015, following the 2013 Edward Snowden revelations that outlined the NSA’s mass data collection practices, Congress put in place measures to curtail the government’s surveillance powers under the USA Freedom Act. This required federal agencies to seek court orders on a case-by-case basis if they needed to obtain data from telecoms firms.

Whether companies willingly cooperate with the government or by coercion, no one can reasonably expect consumer spying to stop which tells us data privacy is almost dead. Unfortunately, the laws are often ignored by the same people who created them and expect organizations to spend a considerable amount of time and money to comply.

Irresponsible User Behavior

Nowadays, many people are active users of the Internet despite a large number of privacy concerns associated with the traceability and removal of personal information. Internet users’ attitudes toward data protection contribute to the privacy challenges. They continue to post large volumes of personal information online which contradicts their expectation and desire for privacy.

The majority of active social media users list information privacy among their key values but fail to get acquainted with the details of privacy policies prior to signing agreements which result in users giving away their right to privacy, possibly assuming that companies will look after their best interests. But some companies actively take advantage of the average Internet users’ lack of knowledge and privacy rights until an incident occurs.

To be fair to consumers, who has time to read and make sense of the privacy policies of all the companies we do business with? We just hope and expect that businesses do the right thing and keep us informed as things change.

Monopoly Leads to Disregard for Privacy

With companies like Facebook which have a monopoly in their niche industry where billions of consumers use the app worldwide, even if consumers read the entire privacy policy and disagree with some aspects of the policy, what choice do they have? Can they ask Facebook to change the policy? Can they choose to not use Facebook? Perhaps, but what can they use instead?

Therefore any business monopoly leads to lesser “data protection as a service”.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, privacy has greatly diminished due to the emergence of new technologies, such as cookies, canvas fingerprinting, and use of mobile apps. Other factors contributing to the death of privacy are Internet users’ irresponsible attitudes when it comes to making good choices online. Frequent data breach cases, and companies’ willingness to profit from data sharing further diminish our collective privacy. Taking all this into consideration, modern Internet users should not regard privacy as the guaranteed and protected right.

The emergence of IoT and smart devices will make privacy matters even worse as these devices are programmed to collect, store, and share data unless consumers are educated about their rights, device capabilities and features, and, how to improve their digital privacy.

Also, enforcement of privacy regulations like GDPR by government authorities is important if we want to save privacy from completely being destroyed if we assume that we still have a slight opportunity. A strict regulatory oversight will align user expectations and lack of knowledge around privacy with a corporate governance and improved ethical business practices which look after customers and their best interests.

Certified in Data Protection

Rapid changes in technology are enabling businesses to gather more information, perform more detailed data analysis and serve customers in ways no one would have imagined possible a decade ago. However, these advancements can also create troubling security vulnerabilities and increase the risk for massive data breaches.

With 2019 set to be one of the worst years in history for security incidents, IT and cybersecurity experts need to consider how new trends in identity and access management (IAM) may provide added protection for sensitive personal and business data against an ever-increasing range of security threats.

Data Breach Incidents and Trends in Identity and Access Management for Added Protection

The Worst Year Ever for Data Breaches?

The first half of 2019 saw over 4.1 billion records exposed in data breaches of various sizes. Three of the breaches rank among the 10 largest incidents of all time, and the business sector accounted for 85% of exposed records. Eight of the breaches occurring the first and second quarters of the year exposed 100 million or more records each, amounting to 3.2 billion records overall.

According to the 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report from Risk Based Security, these shocking totals represent a 54% year-over-year increase in breaches and a 52% increase in the number of records exposed. Although most of the data didn’t include personal information such as Social Security numbers, 70% of records consisted of email addresses, and 64% contained email passwords. Hackers gaining access to this information could use it to send phishing messages from legitimate accounts and easily spread malware throughout business networks.

Small businesses aren’t immune to the increase in breach activity. While there were a number of large breaches, the majority of events exposed 10,000 or fewer records, and unsecured databases were the most common cause. This shatters any illusion smaller companies may have about whether strong security protocols and routine security and access audits are really necessary.

Breach News: A Recent Overview

A quick look at security headlines reveals consistent problems with data breaches across industries. One of the most recent, announced by Capital One on August 4, 2019, occurred between March 22 and 23, 2019 and compromised customer information dating back to 2005. Data included customers’ names, addresses, bank account numbers, account balances, credit scores and credit limits, as well as both U.S. Social Security numbers and Canadian Social Insurance numbers.

The web hosting company Hostinger was also recently subject to a breach, which affected as many as 14 million users. Hackers gained access to hashed password, email address and username data. Hostinger responded by resetting the passwords on every user account and upgrading the algorithm the company uses to hash sensitive data.

Other well-known companies, including State Farm, CafePress and Quest Diagnostics, have also been targets for data theft in recent months, which shows no company can consider itself safe from malicious third parties. The health care sector is particularly vulnerable, which is made evident by breaches at organizations such as Grays Harbor Community Hospital, NCH Healthcare, Medico and Amarin Pharma. From phishing to ransomware, these entities have fallen victim to common security issues, many of which can be addressed through better access management.

2020 IAM Trends to Watch

In the wake of such a large wave of security incidents, new trends are emerging. Some are updates of current IAM protocols, but others represent significant changes in the way businesses manage user identities and network access. IT professionals should consider how these developing and evolving trends could reduce vulnerabilities and provide better data protection:

• Adoption of blockchain-based self-sovereign identities and decentralizing identity data storage
• Switching from two-factor authentication to “n-factor,” the use of as many identifiers as necessary to ensure security in enterprise networks
• Using big data analytics in tandem with artificial intelligence and machine learning to establish flexible, attribute-based access control (ABAC) and prevent unauthorized access by identifying deviations in user behavior and reacting in real time,
• Incorporating identity analytics to improve provisioning and offer better visibility of how data is used once access is granted
• Moving away from the principle of least privilege to provide all users with access to non-critical resources, applications and data, which allows more focus to be placed on protecting critical digital assets
• Utilizing edge computing to move security activities away from central databases and provide better coverage for internet of things (IoT) devices
• Addressing the inherent security issues with biometric identification as an increasing number of businesses adopt biometric authenticators

Identity and access management certifications

These trends and tools offer potential solutions for closing security gaps and shielding sensitive data, but proper implementation is essential in order for businesses to realize the full benefits of a robust security protocol. Continuing assessments, routine security audits and instruction in how to apply better IAM tactics in a variety of use cases can help business owners and executives make proactive decisions to keep digital assets safe.

Considering a career in the exciting field of cybersecurity? That’s great to hear, because the world needs more experts who are willing to learn cyber security! As cyber-crime perpetrated by hackers, criminal groups, and terrorists continues to rise, so does the demand for professionals who can help stop these attacks.

ways to learn cyber security

Here are a few reasons why it’s a good reason to learn cyber security:

  • The technology “skills gap” means there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021
  • Employer demand for cybersecurity professionals will continue to rise due to rising threats and expanding regulations
  • A recent skills gap analysis calculated a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals currently
  • The cybersecurity field is estimated to experience a 28% rise in jobs between 2016 and 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Not only are professionals with this skill set in high demand, but the lack of qualified candidates means there’s less competition for open jobs. This means you’ll have high odds of landing a job once you learn cyber security. If you’ve recently begun considering this field, then now is the perfect time to start learning cybersecurity.

How to learn cyber security?

Thanks to the profusion of information on the internet, there are quite a few ways to learn everything you need to know about cyber security. Whether you’re looking to earn a traditional degree in cybersecurity, pursue a professional certification, or pick up skills all on your own, the right option is out there. The field is also just as friendly towards newcomers as it is with career changers, so with the right education, you can feel confident breaking into the infosec field.

The first option is the most traditional route: a college education. Both 2-year colleges and 4-year universities offer degrees related to cybersecurity. Studying computer programming, information technology, or software development are all good jumping-off points for your cybersecurity studies. Simply supplement these subjects with cyber-related coursework to ensure you have the right background for the job you want after college.

The second option is earning professional certifications. In fact, most cybersecurity professionals earn certifications, whether or not they also have a college degree. Certifications are a huge part of your cyber education and teach you the skills you need to succeed in the field.

There are also a ton of product-specific courses offered by companies like Microsoft and Cisco. These credentials teach you everything you need to know about the security of their devices, software, hardware, networks, and more.

The third option is taking free classes online on a site like EdX, Coursera, or Lynda. While these courses don’t lead to a traditional degree or diploma, they may supplement your degree or professional certification in cybersecurity.

How long does it take to learn cyber security?

Cybersecurity is a rapidly changing field, since it’s based on technology that’s constantly evolving. As a cybersecurity expert, your job is to stay one step ahead of cyber-criminals looking for the next big hack or exploit. The best cybersecurity professionals treat learning as a never-ending part of their careers, so you should expect to stay updated with coursework, conferences, certificates, and tech news.

In the short-term, learning enough about information security to land your first entry-level job doesn’t take very long. Earning the right certifications and taking free online courses can be done in just a couple of months. However, if you opt to go down the traditional college pathway, you’re looking at two to four years before you graduate. Both options are equally valuable, but one may fit your goals and lifestyle better than the other. It’s all up to you!

Keep in mind that the content you learn from classes and certifications will eventually grow stale as technology evolves and becomes obsolete. Most certifications have an expiration date attached to them, typically between one to three years from the date you earned it. That means you’ll have to re-take the test when the time comes or participate in professional development opportunities like conferences and workshops to keep your skills sharp and up-to-date.

How to learn cyber security on my own?

You don’t need to enroll at a college to take a cyber security course. In fact, there’s a ton of coursework right at your fingertips. If you’re a newbie to the field, start with some free online courses. There are many free online courses, so you can get your feet wet before you start investing money. This also gives you a chance to decide if infosec is truly the right career path for you.

Once you’ve conquered some of the entry-level courses, you can move on to higher-level options like professional certifications. To earn a certification, you simply have to pass a test covering the core skills related to that certification.

Common topics covered by information security certification exams include authentication, access management and certification, staff onboarding and offboarding, cloud security, device security management, threat assessment, and risk analysis. You can sign up for the test after studying independently, or you could take a preparatory course through a training program that meets your needs.

At this point, you probably know enough about cybersecurity to decide which area you’d like to specialize in. Instead of becoming a “jack of all trades,” you’ll want to find a technical niche that you can fill. This will give you the best foothold for gaining your first job. You can even decide to become an expert in a specific security product or function such as email security, privileged account management, cloud security, and user training.

Can I teach myself cyber security from scratch?

Info sec is a skills-based discipline, so getting started in the field is as easy as picking up the necessary skills. Due to the large skills gap in the field, you should be able to land an entry-level position without having a college degree. Start building up your resume by earning the core entry-level certifications. These include Certified Access Management Specialist (CAMS) and Certified in Data Protection (CDP).

Enhancing your knowledge with skills in computer programming will also give you the well-rounded background recruiters are looking for. Be sure to take some free courses for programming languages like C, C++, PHP, Perl, Java, and Shell.

How can I benefit from learning the cybersecurity courses offered by Identity Management Institute?

The Identity Management Institute (IMI) was founded in 2007 to provide training and professional certification to identity management students and professionals across the globe. IMI specializes in topics like identity and access management, identity theft protection, fraud protection, data protection, compliance, governance, and technology risk management.

Members of Identity Management Institute pursue and earn any of the certificates they feel appropriate for their careers. To customize the program to fit your career path, you have the option of choosing one of eight pathways to specialize in. These pathways include risk management (CIAM), implementation (CIMP), governance (CIGE), identity theft (CIPA), data protection (CDP), access management (CAMS), ID fraud prevention (CRFS), and technology (CIST). Click here for more details.

These certification options ensure members can choose which path they want to specialize in or which credentials to earn. This will also ensure they’re prepared to jump into any of the core industry feeder roles such as audit and monitoring, access management, process re-engineering, product implementation, or system architecture, design, and engineering.

What are the benefits of learning cyber security?

Learning cyber security is your first step towards starting a rewarding career defending the world’s data and information against cyber threats. The biggest benefit of learning cyber skills is employment. With the right skills and credentials in hand, you’ll have access to entry-level jobs like identity and access management engineer, architect, and managers.

With the right knowledge under your belt, you can look forward to a profusion of job opportunities in a growing field. The demand for skilled professionals is on the rise, and there currently aren’t enough professionals to fill those roles. With your new skill set, you’ll be in high-demand and won’t have to worry about not being able to find a job in your field.

Identity and access management certifications

Whether you’re brand new to the technology field or looking to transition from information technology to information security, learning core infosec skills will help you achieve your goals. Once you’ve gotten started in the field, earning additional skills will open the door to future promotions and raises.

Although healthcare organizations handle a great deal of highly sensitive personal information, new reports show a troubling lack of awareness and training in the areas of security regulation and policies in U.S. and Canadian institutions. Because the level of security awareness is inversely related to breach risk, this could present serious difficulties for healthcare providers attempting to maintain compliance and keep patient information safe from cybersecurity threats.

The Extent of the Problem

The medical sector is subject to twice as many attacks as other industries, likely due to the high value hackers place on medical records, but healthcare employees may not be getting the information they need to follow cybersecurity best practices. According to part two of Kaspersky’s State of Cybersecurity in Healthcare report:

• 40% of North American healthcare workers aren’t informed about any cybersecurity measures in place to protect workplace IT devices
• 32% of employees know a cybersecurity policy exists but have only read it once
• 32% haven’t gotten any cybersecurity training
• Only 29% could properly identify the meaning of the HIPAA Security Rule
• 1 in 10 managers are unaware of cybersecurity policies within their organizations

In another report focusing on ransomware, healthcare employees were presented with a hypothetical situation in which a third party requested protected patient information via e-mail. Twenty-seven percent weren’t sure how to respond or had no problem complying with the request. This shows a distinct absence of crucial cybersecurity knowledge, which is further demonstrated in a study by Wombat Security showing healthcare employees gave incorrect answers to 23% of questions regarding IT security best practices. This places the industry just behind hospitality in its inability to identify a proper approach to securing sensitive data.

Introducing Better Training

An increase in training is necessary to start correcting healthcare security problems, but not all employees agree. Among those in the U.S., 19% don’t think cybersecurity training is necessary. However, another 19% of employees agree they could use more training. It’s up to employers to begin creating workplace cultures designed to encourage security, starting with robust employee onboarding programs and continuing with relevant training to maintain awareness of emerging threats.

Employees should know:

• Procedures for the proper collection, storage, transmission and protection of patient records
• How to manage passwords and devices securely
• The details of HIPAA and other privacy regulations
• Best practices for compliance, including administrative procedures, technical safeguards and physical protection of devices and records

Protecting Ubiquitous IT Devices

Healthcare organizations rely on a multitude of devices to manage patient care on a daily basis. Employees use computers, laptops and mobile devices to access and amend health records, and many procedures require complex machinery made to collect information about patients’ health.

Any of these devices could be hacked if even the smallest security loophole exists, but digital protection isn’t the only concern. Theft or unauthorized access could easily occur if employees leave devices unattended without properly safeguarding them. Remote workers present additional security challenges, since many use personal devices for work purposes and don’t always follow security best practices for network access or device management.

Increasing Cybersecurity Budgets

Eighty-two percent of hospitals report dealing with security incidents, but only 5% of a typical budget goes toward cybersecurity efforts. This can create barriers to adopting new, more secure technologies and may be part of the reason why 69% of healthcare organizations are still using some legacy systems. Many of these systems are no longer supported by the original distributors, meaning security upgrades aren’t available and software can’t be updated for protection against new and emerging threats.

However, changes are happening. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) reported cybersecurity budgets were on the rise in 2019. Fifty-five percent of healthcare organizations said they were putting some of their IT budgets toward cybersecurity efforts, and 38% raised their budgets by 5% or more.

Prioritizing Patient Safety

The ultimate goal of any healthcare organization should be to protect patients and do everything possible to ensure positive outcomes. Cybersecurity has become a critical part of this process, with patient confidentiality being of utmost importance. This requires chief information security officers (CISOs) to prevent breaches through the implementation of aggressive and proactive measures for detecting and stopping malicious activity. Executing these procedures from the top down ensures everyone in a healthcare organization is on the same page when it comes to handling threat risks.

Identity and access management certifications

As unsettling as security statistics out of the healthcare industry may be, it’s possible to improve the way organizations manage network access and protect patient data. Raising awareness among CISOs, executives and healthcare providers can lead to better risk management and stronger fraud prevention efforts. With new policies in place, the healthcare industry can re-commit to protecting the privacy and well-being of the people it serves.

In today’s security environment, there is a shortage of qualified cyber security professionals with cyber security certifications to fill in critical positions and address vulnerabilities within the network. An ever-growing demand persists for experienced individuals who are security minded and technically competent to defend against evolving cyber threats. The federal and local governments are struggling to muster up responses in order to keep pace and protect assets that house confidential and sensitive data. Cybersecurity professionals who have cyber security certifications and credentials will often be the first ones to be considered for cyber security jobs and are well positioned to respond to cyber security challenges. Identity Management Institute offers the fastest growing cyber security certifications in identity and access management and data protection.

Cyber Security Certifications by Identity Management Institute with a focus on identity governance, access management and data protection.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is another term coined for information or network security that has been mentioned frequently within the past decade. The mention of cyber in people’s ears won’t cause them to perk up until other words such as data breach, theft, spying, and hacking comes into play. There have been several instances within the last ten years where there were major data breaches due to lack of proper security controls to keep systems secure from hacking threats. Even today, government and corporate organizations alike are still struggling to respond to these attacks, either due to a lack of funding or lack of willpower to engage these problems head-on.

Examples of security controls that are used within an office environment include policies related to onboarding and offboarding, clear desk, multi-factor authentication, biometrics, and monitoring. Combined with network security and user management tools, these measures are meant to mitigate and prevent an insider or external threats from causing harm to enterprise assets.

Cyber security needs to be examined at strategic and tactical levels, as well. The governance of and compliance with cyber laws is a continuous process due to the changing technology and regulatory environment to strengthen the security landscape. The internet has made the world become more connected than ever before, prompting the need for technical solutions such as blockchain and edge computing to keep organizations protected from malicious cyber activity.

Some of the events that occurred over the past decade, including the Yahoo email hack in 2014, the Wanna Cry ransomware attack in 2017, and the Sony PlayStation Network hack in 2011 are some of the most severe cyber attacks ever experienced in history. All attacks usually resulted in the theft of credit card, personal data, and all sorts of other sensitive information that have been leaked out into the open. Many industries are at risk because of a lack of adequate security and improper controls to address the problems that permeate in the cyber world. The problems continue to fester to the point where they can easily amount to millions in damages, as well as loss of trust in institutions by the public to keep their information safe.

Cyber Security Certifications

You’re probably asking yourself: “Why should I bother to pursue certifications?” Like any other industry, cyber security certifications are certifications awarded to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in various cybersecurity areas. These revolve around technical, procedural, and managerial work that provides test-takers the necessary framework in order to solve problems that exist within the computer network environment. As cybersecurity is a wide profession and not everyone can be an expert in all areas of cybersecurity, various organizations offer specialized cybersecurity certifications to meet the needs of the industry and cybersecurity professionals based on their interest and market demand.

The Identity Management Institute (IMI) offers online certification training that helps its members learn the fundamentals of cyber security, with an extended focus on identity management. IMI offers courses for both newcomers and experienced professionals alike. If you’re new to the cyber world, there is a cyber security course for beginners offered by IMI to teach the fundamentals necessary to succeed. Cybersecurity and in particular identity and access management domains are not just focused on system security but to be successful, cyber security professionals must also focus on and address processes to mitigate the cybersecurity risks which is why IMI offers various fraud, identity theft, and cyber security certification programs which collectively address the cyber security and identity management risks.

When pursuing IMI’s certifications, candidates will need to demonstrate knowledge related to subject areas within each certification domain and pass the related exams. By obtaining specific certifications, professionals can demonstrate cyber security skills in specific areas in which they are employed or are interested in and, employers can easily identify the best candidates for their jobs.

Identity Management Institute offers eight different certification paths to choose from:

Certified Identity and Access Manager/CIAM

The CIAM certification focuses on the identity and access management processes and risks. CIAM professionals are capable of assessing identity and access management risks and proposing solutions that help organizations manage user identity and access seamlessly, monitor user access to detect abnormalities, and maintain compliance within the enterprise.

Certified Access Management Specialist/CAMS

CAMS certified professionals are individuals who administer user access. They process user access requests, document related approvals, audit access reports, and review exceptions. CAMS are ultimately responsible for system access and perform access certification periodically to ensure access is appropriate.

Certified Identity Governance Expert/CIGE

Aimed towards professionals who hold executive leadership positions within organizations, these personnel can propose and adopt industry identity management frameworks for their organizations. They also offer new standards and policies in the governance of enterprise-level identity management.

Certified Identity Management Professional/CIMP

The CIMP program’s primary focus is identity management projects that require touch labor support, project management responsibilities or consultations on the design and implementation of technically-oriented identity/access management solutions. Personnel who are CIMP-certified will usually hold managerial, technical, or special member positions on identity management projects while simultaneously coordinating with various stakeholders on the implementation of solutions.

Certified Identity and Security Technologist/CIST

CIST professionals are technical leaders who specialize in the development, selection, and assessment of identity management and security systems. They are experts in the cyber security field when it comes to choosing and implementing technologies that manage and enhance identity security.

Certified Identity Protection Advisor/CIPA

CIPAs are professionals that specialize in identity theft management. They support people in the detection, prevention, and resolution of anything related to identity theft. This program educates candidates on current risks related to identity theft and offer solutions on how to prevent identity theft as well as investigate and recover identities. People who earn the CIPA program become advisors to clients who need assistance with identity theft prevention, detection, and resolution.

Certified Red Flag Specialist/CRFS

Based on the Red Flags Rule imposed by the U.S. government, candidates are focused on the area of identity fraud prevention as part of their training. Candidates who certify through the CRFS program will be able to aid organizations with identity theft risk mitigation and fraud prevention through their knowledge of identity theft red flags throughout the business transactions.

Certified in Data Protection/CDP

Teaches students on the development and management of data protection program and system security to protect data based on business risks and compliance requirements to maintain adherence to the goals of availability, confidentiality and integrity of corporate data security and privacy.

Cyber Security Professionals

These professionals are often experienced managers, consultants and administrators who deal with various aspects of cyber security programs. They cover the technical aspects of information system security and provide oversight and enforcement of policies to maintain enterprise security. CSPs often hold different positions such as chief information security officer, information systems security officer and information systems security manager, to name a few. These are typically government or corporate positions where these individuals will be responsible in managing programs related to network security management and information assurance management. They are also charged with safeguarding organizational files and other data housed within the network.

Cyber security personnel are paid competitive salaries due to the skill sets they possess. Cyber security personnel may sometimes be the first to be blamed if something goes wrong but this is something that is part of the realities of the profession and should be kept in mind at all times.

In addition, cybersecurity jobs usually require security clearances via an extensive vetting process. This is necessary because professionals in this particular field hold positions of trust, and it is absolutely essential that this trust is not broken in order to maintain integrity and overall security.

Cybersecurity Courses

There are many cybersecurity courses that teach trainees the fundamentals of cyber security, as well as the industry frameworks which are adopted and guide the policies of companies and government agencies. While it’s possible to gleam some basics through one course, it is not enough to understand the breadth and scope of the cybersecurity world. Many universities and colleges across the country offer programs where students can study cybersecurity at length as part of their degree program in computer science, information systems management or any other cyber-related degree.

Skills related to cyber security often revolve around the following:

  • Identity and access management
  • Securing and patching systems
  • Incident response management
  • Investigation and forensic analysis

Cybersecurity Career

Careers in cybersecurity involve a degree of technical expertise and problem solving skills. Depending on which position you occupy, you’ll direct a technical staff of system administrators to apply patches, deploy systems such as firewalls to harden a network, and run scans to assess system security vulnerabilities. If you’re in an advisory position, you will give recommendations to corporate executives and management on actions they can take to remediate security gaps and mitigate risks to keep assets and data safe. Since cyber security is a vast field, professionals in this field will have to gain many of years of on the job experience before they can see the big picture and have a good understanding of the cyber world.

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field for interested professionals. There is no better time to learn about this field and become a member of the cybersecurity workforce. Here are some of the job positions in cyber security that will help give you an idea of what to expect:

Security Systems Administrator: The title may be different, but job responsibilities typically reconcile with that of system administrators. Security system administrators are responsible for the installation, administration and maintenance of enterprise security systems including some troubleshooting in-between if something breaks. These administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of systems that fall within their job scope.

Tasks may include backups, the monitoring of systems, and the management of user accounts that are on the network which involves account creation and deletion.

Security Architect: Crafts technically-oriented security solutions for a network. They develop complex security mechanisms designed to defend against malicious activity such as DDoS attacks and malware.

Security Consultant: An all-round cybersecurity expert. They are focused on evaluating cybersecurity risks, threats, problems, and recommend solutions on what organizations can do to bolster their network security. They deal with a slew of security issues encountered across multiple enterprises and view everything from a top-down perspective.

Ethical Hackers: Alternatively known as white-hats, these hackers are trained to breach systems internally to assess their defenses and assume the role of black hat hackers, which is a moniker for individuals who engage in malicious hacking activity. They use the same protocols as this particular group of hackers in order to test network defenses. If there are weaknesses found, upgrades can be developed and installed to improve network security.

Computer Forensics Analysts: Highly technical, they work with companies and law enforcement agencies on the analysis of cyber crimes. This involves record keeping as well as the interpretation of data, file recovery, and any other form of analysis in relation to criminal acts.

IT Security Consultant: Operates in a similar capacity to security consultants, except they are primarily focused on system security rather than operations security.

These are just a sampling of the cybersecurity careers and titles available to you. Whichever you pursue as a professional, you will not be limited to just certain tasks. Sometimes you will be required to work with teams to help keep the network secure. You will be required to understand what others are doing as part of their jobs to secure the organization.

Conclusion

In closing, we discussed the need for cybersecurity experts to address the ongoing threat of cyber attacks that persists in today’s networking environment. In order to occupy the right cybersecurity positions, individuals will need to assess their interest ad skills and then design a career plan that includes attending the right cybersecurity courses and obtaining the right cybersecurity certifications. Cyber security professionals are hard to find and will be even more in demand in the future to secure government and corporate digital assets, and there is no better time to prepare and learn now. Identity Management Institute serves as the leader in cyber security certifications that focuses on identity and access management. Join IMI and enhance your cybersecurity career by focusing on the fast growing identity and access management segment of the cyber security industry. Click below to learn more.

Identity and access management certifications

Data collection and transmission from an increasing number of connected devices requires a better approach to processing and analysis. Edge computing brings these tasks closer to data sources, either enabling execution within devices themselves or outsourcing to local servers and data centers instead of central locations. The basic idea is to minimize data transmission time as much as possible, but increased vulnerability to hackers may be an unwanted side effect of distributing activity across a wider range of endpoints.

what is edge computing

Benefits of Computing on the “Edge”

Latency is a problem in use cases where nearly instantaneous transfer of information is necessary. In modern networks, every increment of time counts. A delay of just a fraction of a second may not make a difference when someone asks their smart home speaker for the weather, but the same delay when data is sent to an autonomous vehicle could result in disaster.

Edge computing seeks to solve this problem by:

• Moving the task of initial data processing to connected devices
• Using edge data centers in place of central servers

In traditional network models, connected devices simply collect information and send it to a physical or cloud server, where useless information is weeded out, usable data is analyzed and instructions are sent back to the devices. This puts a tremendous burden on central servers and creates a repository of data, which could easily attract hackers.

Processing data locally using edge devices and servers distributes power across a network and reduces bandwidth requirements at central locations. With less need for large onsite data centers or extensive server equipment, businesses can reduce power consumption and cut IT costs. Companies providing streaming services and other content to users of connected devices can also benefit by caching data closer to their customers, which allows for faster delivery and a better overall experience.

Security Considerations in Edge Computing

However, distributing data across a large network containing numerous devices and data centers operating far from companies’ main locations can create problems with network visibility and control. Each device represents another potentially vulnerable endpoint, and the internet of things (IoT) is notorious for its lack of robust security. Other devices used in edge computing have similar problems: They’re smaller than traditional data center or server setups, not designed with security in mind and aren’t always updated as often as they should be.

Loopholes in edge security can provide hackers easy access to the core of a network. This is of particular concern if edge devices are rushed to market before thorough testing is performed or companies race to adopt the technology without a full understanding of the security risks involved. The smaller size of edge devices also makes them more vulnerable to being stolen or otherwise physically manipulated.

Any network in which edge computing is a major player must be maintained in a unified manner to ensure all devices receive regular updates and proper security protocols are followed. Encryption, patching and the use of artificial intelligence to monitor for, detect and respond to potential threats are all essential, and the responsibility for implementing these security measures falls squarely on companies, not end users.

Can Edge Computing Make Networks Safer?

In an interesting paradox, wider device distribution may offer security benefits. Reducing the distance data has to travel for processing means there are fewer opportunities for trackers to intercept it during transmission. With more data remaining at the edges of the network, central servers are also less likely to become targets for cyberattacks.

The challenge lies in incorporating security into device design. Companies are beginning to focus on this and other measures for making data safer, including the use of encryption and creating solutions to manage, update and secure IoT devices. If inherent security features are built into more end-user devices and edge data centers, it should be possible to create expansive networks with minimal vulnerabilities. However, the technology has not yet reached a point where security can be considered reliable enough to prevent the majority of attacks.

Security agents, devices designed to handle the security measures of which IoT devices are incapable, may provide another solution. This allows security to be undertaken at a network level without sending data all the way to a central server or requiring frequent device upgrades. Security agents are installed near IoT components and function separately to provide the computing power necessary to handle cryptographic security and ensure strong protection against malicious activities.

The potential security perks and drawbacks of edge computing must be considered as IoT becomes more prominent in business environments. Adding devices increases data input, which requires more processing power at the edge, away from onsite and cloud servers. The challenge of protecting remote devices and data centers falls to businesses and device manufacturers, making security a concern from design to deployment.

Identity and access management certifications

Completing IT security courses has many advantages whether the purpose of the IT security training is to supplement a technical education such as those who hold a Bachelor’s degree in IT security, or to learn a new skill for entering the IT security career field with other related degrees. IT security courses are essential in the technological world in which we operate and which is constantly evolving and changing. IT security training courses teach students how to prevent, detect, and resolve incidents related to unauthorized access perpetrated by hackers and other threat actors. As organizations move their systems and data to the cloud, it has become obvious that identity and access management (IAM) is the most critical domain of cyber security for preventing and detecting unauthorized access and data breach. As you read the rest of this article, it is important to understand why an IAM certification is important to succeed in the cyber security career field.

IT Security Courses

IT Security Courses

Courses in IT security can be found in the vast majority of IT security, information security and information technology degree programs. Some IT security courses offer certifications and others lead to an associate, bachelor and master degrees. Due to the importance of IT security for many private and public organizations, including national security agencies, there are a variety of IT security training programs in the market. Each program has a different focus and may offer a wide range of topics.

Courses in IT security typically cover subjects such as:

  • Information Management
  • Computer Systems
  • Risk Management
  • IT Security Fundamentals
  • Technical Report Writing
  • Investigation Techniques
  • Cyber Law and Ethics

Examples of System Security Classes

Fundamentals of IT Security

Introduces students to IT security basics who learn about the basic security threat prevention and detection techniques as well as the necessary actions to be taken when a system is compromised. In some cases, students also learn how to apply these techniques in real-world situations. These real-world practices typically involve implementing several different types of security systems, programs, and techniques as well as developing security processes such as incident response. The IT security basics are often offered by the undergraduate IT security degrees or other related fields and may also be covered by various IT security and data protection certification programs such as the Certified in Data Protection (CDP) program.

Computer Security Management

Students taking this course will learn how to develop and manage a computer security program. They will learn how to research policies and participate in case studies to discover and present the best computer security methods. In addition to learning how to devise and manage security programs, students also learn about computer related functions for supporting the program. Both undergraduate and graduate students will greatly benefit from this intermediate-level course.

Information Assurance Management

Students are taught about risk management strategies and the risk assessment process. This course covers the computer security risks and ways to mitigate them. This course covers the main objectives of the information security; Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability.

Forensics of IT Security

Teaches students how to trace computer security violations. Includes discussions of methods for identifying network signatures and tracing them to their sources. This part-lecture, part-hands-on course instruct students on how to assess multiple tracking methods and which techniques have the best practical uses.

Hacking Techniques

This is an advanced course in IT security for those seeking to advance their career in cybersecurity. Students play the hacker role, working to spot flaws in various computer security configurations and exploit them. These hacking exercises train students to pick up on security vulnerabilities and consider ways to optimize security within systems. This type of course covers the manners in which hackers enter and exploit computer systems, followed up with step-by-step procedures for effectively handling each kind of threat. Students also learn how to work with the evidence left behind by hackers as a means to ultimately report to authorities to catch and prosecute them for their actions.

Investigation and Response in System Forensics

This is another advanced course, instructing students on how to protect data from information security hackers. This includes comprehensive research into computer operating systems and replicating attacks in order to learn about tracing and tracking. Past hacking case investigations which have led to measures for successful tracking and detection of intruders are also covered in these courses.

Benefits of Cyber Security Courses

There are many benefits to having employees or students take courses in IT security. Below are some o the benefits:

Security Awareness Reduces Risks

Training courses on IT security should form an essential part of an organization’s culture. With security awareness firmly entrenched into a company’s culture, there will be much less risk of a security issue or breach. Awareness training will help students better understand their IT security policies. Adequately trained employees will also know effective means to safeguard system, data and accounts from IT security threats.

Less Chances of Security Breaches

Those with the proper cyber security training and knowledge of protocols will better comply with data and information security procedures. This significantly lessens the chances of computer networks being breached and corrupted by malicious attackers. These security courses will help organizations protect their sensitive data regardless of the industry in which they operate. This also reduces the risks of organizations facing lawsuits, fines and security audits that typically follow breaches of IT systems.

Saving Money

Training individuals in IT security is much less costly than fixing affected computer systems and an organization’s reputation after security breaches take place.

Increased Staff Confidence

Regular IT awareness training can help inform staff on how they can use and how they must not use systems and data that they handle in the workplace.

Increased Customer Confidence

Customers are less worried about providing their personal information to companies that have fewer reported cases of data breaches, lawsuits, and other negative security related news.

Who Gains the Most from Security Courses?

Here are some of the groups of people who most benefit from courses in IT security:

  • Computer science and cybersecurity degree students
  • IT employees entering the IT security field
  • End users and customers
  • Suppliers or vendors with system access
  • Executives and upper-level managers
  • Junior and senior technical staff members

In addition to learning best computer security practices when students take IT security courses, they also learn about relevant regulatory and compliance requirements.

Identity and access management certifications

Businesses face numerous security challenges arising from changes in employee device use. Eighty-seven percent of companies depend on employees being able to access business apps from their personal devices, and 59% have fully established bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. An increasing number of employees work remotely some or all of the time and access company networks using a variety of devices running different operating systems and applications.

mobile device management (MDM) can greatly improve enterprise security

Without clear visibility and strong security policies, managing these diverse network environments can become overwhelming. Mobile device management (MDM) might be the answer for businesses in which BYOD is a necessity or remote employees make up a significant portion of the workforce.

Understanding Mobile Device Management

MDM acts as an important component of mobility management and is quickly becoming a necessary companion to other key security practices, such as identity and access management (IAM). It involves two main elements:

• Security software, called the MDM agent
• An MDM server, which is often cloud-based

Policies to govern how devices access a company’s network are created by the IT department on the server side and deployed via the software. Software can be installed on most types of employee devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones and some internet of things (IoT) devices. This simplifies the enforcement of security and use policies by giving the IT department greater control over network access and providing the tools to monitor and manage personal devices used for work purposes.

With 71% of workers spending over two hours per week accessing company info on their mobile devices, such control is necessary to ensure data remains secure. MDM makes it possible to track the status, location and activities of devices in and out of the office, detect unusual activity indicative of unauthorized access and take preventative measures to reduce the risk of breaches.

Managing Devices for Better Network Security

Although some companies opt to provide employees with separate work devices rather than use MDM, employees are generally more comfortable using their own smartphones or tablets and more productive when working with platforms they recognize. These devices often lack the level of malware protection required to keep them secure on business networks, but MDM bridges the gap by providing IT departments with better visibility and detailed access data.

Proper management starts with a company policy detailing appropriate use of devices connected to the network, which can provide the foundation for setting up rules via the MDM agent, including whitelisted and blacklisted applications. Businesses may also provide work applications through company-specific storefronts from which employees can download the tools they need without the risk of accidentally bringing in malware from infected programs obtained through public app stores.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Implementing MDM allows companies to offer more remote work opportunities without worrying about potential security risks, which creates a flexible environment in which employees are free to access apps and data at any time. Businesses can choose the best software for projects and workflows and deploy it securely to ensure communication and collaboration occur with ease.

From an IT perspective, MDM simplifies the enforcement of security measures like encryption, application updates and data backups. Automating key processes, including device provisioning, reduces workload while maintaining strong security. Remote wiping removes private and proprietary data if devices are lost or stolen. Together, these features minimize the potential for data theft and ensure fast restoration of critical business data in the event of loss or compromise.

However, proper implementation and execution of MDM requires experienced IT staff, and business owners can’t rely solely on MDM to secure their networks. There’s still the risk of credentials being stolen and systems hacked if misplaced devices aren’t wiped quickly enough, and employees can pick up malware outside the office and accidentally introduce it into the enterprise network environment.

Challenges of MDM Implementation and Management

Employee resistance may be the biggest challenge to MDM. Staff members may not be comfortable with employers monitoring and possibly restricting the use of their devices, and some may resort to rooting or jailbreaking in an attempt to work around MDM policies.

To prevent excessive restriction, business management must clarify their security needs based on how employees are already using devices on corporate networks and how use is likely to change over time. This can be difficult for companies with large remote workforces and businesses lacking detailed security policies. Ideally, MDM should be integrated into an existing protocol and deployed in a way designed to benefit employees and the company as a whole.

Although implementing MDM can allow for better management of personal devices and improved network security, it can’t stand alone. IT teams must work with business owners to establish robust security policies in which MDM is integrated with identity management, access control and appropriate provisioning to prevent unauthorized use of enterprise systems.

Identity and access management certifications

Technology has a multitude of beneficial applications for health care, but increased adoption of new technologies introduces new security challenges across the industry. Protected Health Information (PHI) consisting of personal details, medical histories and other health related data is highly attractive to hackers, but many healthcare organizations lack the robust security protocols required to guard against cyberattacks and need help implementing better access controls.

Healthcare cybersecurity challenges

Healthcare Cybersecurity by the Numbers

In 2016, healthcare organizations were using less than 6% of their budgets for cybersecurity. This lack of investment is likely a major contributor to the massive number of attacks the industry has experienced in recent years. Healthcare organizations were the victims of 88% of all ransomware attacks across industries in the U.S. in 2016, and 89% of organizations have experienced some kind of data breach in the last two years.

By 2020, the total cost of security breaches in healthcare is expected to reach $6 trillion, up from $3 trillion in 2017. Some of this cost goes toward paying hackers to regain access to data after ransomware attacks. Twenty-three percent of healthcare organizations report paying ransoms to avoid the potentially deadly consequences of losing access to patient information and care protocols.

Major Healthcare Security Challenges for 2019

Why are hackers so interested in healthcare? A single PHI record can fetch up to $20,000 in profit on the black market, around 10 times the value of a stolen credit card number. Such a payoff is a big incentive, especially when healthcare networks provide a number of loopholes for hackers to exploit.

Ransomware is of particular concern. In 2017, 34% of attacks on the 10 industries most affected by ransomware were directed at healthcare, and the number of attacks may quadruple by 2020. Locking down a system in a provider’s office or hospital restricts access to patient records, including prescription information, test results and surgical data. Hackers know how important this information is for healthcare providers, which makes the industry a prime target for ransomware.

Migration to cloud-based applications introduces additional vulnerabilities. Of all healthcare firms relying on the cloud, 25% aren’t encrypting information as it travels back and forth, leaving private data vulnerable to attack. Almost 40% have no dedicated staff to manage their cloud-based software, but 81% are allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, many of which simply provide more unsecured endpoints hackers can use to gain network access.

Controlling Access with Better Identity Management

Limiting unauthorized access requires a greater degree of clarity and unification than is currently possible in many healthcare environments. Employees use numerous applications to access patient data and manage care, but no centralized tool or strategy exists to manage identities or login credentials. Access management is made more difficult by complex use cases and permission requirements. Not all providers with a particular role need access to the same information, and access needs may change during the course of patient treatment.

Increasing privileges, however, is not the answer. Sixty-one percent of healthcare organizations cite privileged accounts as their biggest internal threat, so adding more permissions to streamline access is likely to lead to even greater security problems. According to the 2017 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, insiders account for 71% of cybersecurity threats in healthcare. Susceptibility to phishing scams may explain why 46% of the threats were inadvertent, but 25% resulted from malicious activity by those authorized to access networks.

Automated provisioning may provide a solution. By using predetermined protocols to define access rules and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to assess user behaviors, healthcare organizations can provide access to necessary information without compromising other sensitive data or adding unnecessary complexity to workflows.

Applying Improved Access Principles to Healthcare

Because many healthcare procedures require fast decisions and responses, streamlining identity and access management (IAM) is essential. Employees can’t afford to spend too much time logging into applications, especially in situations where multiple platforms are required. Healthcare organizations need to map out their most common use cases, determine who needs access to the network and create protocols designed to allow appropriate levels of access at the right times.

Protocols must include initial and ongoing employee training as well as monitoring to minimize the risk of insider threats. Employees should be able to recognize phishing emails and be aware of proper password storage procedures. In environments where employee-owned devices are allowed, it’s up to organizations to require and implement security measures to protect data from compromise due to unauthorized access.

Identity and access management certifications

Although improved access management is essential in healthcare cybersecurity, 39% of organizations say they lack qualified employees to create and manage security strategies. Twenty-seven percent simply can’t find qualified personnel to help. Bringing in experienced third-party cybersecurity experts may be necessary for the industry to get the full benefit of IAM protocols for ensuring appropriate access levels and protecting PHI.

This article highlights the latest events and trends to demonstrate how emerging threats and technological innovations are changing the security landscape.

Equifax Makes Good on Massive Data Breach

Announced in September of 2017 three months after its discovery, the Equifax breach exposed the records of 150 million people and put enormous amounts of personal data at risk. Now the company is expected to pay as much as $700 million to state and federal regulators in a settlement to be approved by a federal court. The settlement includes between $300 million and $425 million to cover credit monitoring services for affected Americans or to reimburse individuals for any identity monitoring services they may have purchased following the breach. Equifax will also have to pay $275 million in civil penalties, making this the largest data breach settlement in history.

The required changes to security protocols included as part of the settlement highlight the importance of implementing and maintaining strong protections for sensitive customer data. For enterprises, this means combining measures like routine updates, consistent data backups and access control in robust security protocols designed to mitigate risk by minimizing unauthorized access within their networks. Failing to do so can not only result in significant financial consequences but also destroy trust between consumers and companies.

Idaptive Singled Out as an Emerging Security Vendor

In an age where the privacy of personal information is becoming more important but breaches are considered almost inevitable, it’s up to innovative companies to create better security solutions. Enter Idaptive, named one of CRN’s Emerging Vendors for 2019. The company was cited for its “state-of-the-art technology”, which help those providing access control to “meet complex IT market demands” with “next-gen access” tools.

Idaptive takes a zero-trust approach to identity management and access control, combining multiple enterprise security protocols to create a seamless user experience. As an attribute-based system, Idaptive’s technology focuses on details like behaviors, devices, networks, locations and risk levels to support granular access control. Attributes are considered in context to create a more strategic approach to preventing unauthorized access and prevent legitimate users from being locked out of critical applications. Intelligent monitoring allows for quick responses to potential threats while supporting streamlined workflows for all users.

Samsung Consortium Plans Mobile Blockchain ID System

So far, the idea of self-sovereign identity (SSI) has been more of a pipe dream than an executable concept, but a recently formed consortium may be ready to make it a reality. Personal control of data is the major draw of SSI at a time when consumers are increasingly concerned about who has their information and how it’s being used and stored. Large companies like Microsoft have looked into decentralized identity options, but Samsung is the one leading the way in the quest for true SSI.

Along with six other companies, Samsung hopes to create a mobile identity option based on a consortium blockchain. The solution would allow users to store identity information on their smartphones and submit it as needed for verification on their own terms rather than relying on a middleman. Third-party verification of identities will likely be handled by participating banks and telecom companies. Potential security flaws in Samsung’s Knox feature, which would be used to protect identifying information, must be worked out if the company is to become the first to conquer the challenge of SSI.

ARPA Privacy Computing: A Public Blockchain Security Solution?

As blockchain technology continues to be adopted for a wider range of applications, it’s becoming clear it may not be as “unhackable” as was once believed. The potential for hacking could prove to be a serious problem, since information stored in the blockchain is basically immutable. Hackers gaining access to personal data within a blockchain could take control of anything from cryptocurrency to entire identities, leaving users with few options to recover lost or stolen information.

The ARPA network is hoping to change all this. Billed as a “privacy-preserving computation network,” ARPA seeks to use its technology to solve what its co-founder calls the “two biggest problems” with public blockchains: privacy and scalability. The platform uses multi-party computation (MPC) and private smart contracts to protect personal data in the blockchain. ARPA is compatible with existing blockchain frameworks and built to be scalable to meet the needs of organizations dealing with large amounts of data, such as finance companies, healthcare providers and enterprise-level businesses.

Identity and access management certifications

Incidents like the Equifax breach and the financial backlash it caused are likely to drive businesses to seek better security measures, which will require a dynamic approach to identity management and access control. In addition, the adoption of new technology drives the need for new and better approaches to security, suggesting experienced IT and cybersecurity professionals will be in increased demand as innovations continue.