How cyber security has changed over the 21st century

How cyber security has changed over the 21st century

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The rise of technology in industry has proven itself to be a double-edged sword.

With the digitalisation of industry that has occurred over the past two decades, computer viruses and malware have simultaneously experienced an evolutionary rate so high that cybercrime has continued to be a real and lasting threat to all modern organisations.

Thankfully, the dark and murky waters of the digital sphere have played an immense role in the formation of cybersecurity as a discipline.

Here are some of the most recent developments that have been made in the field of cybersecurity.

Opportunities for higher education

At the beginning of the century, a Master of Cyber Security was considered to be a niche qualification with an equally niche/limited job pool awaiting students post-graduation.

In this digital age, however, cybersecurity programs are available across a growing array of universities, colleges, and technical schools, with graduates going to work in a variety of industries, and not just in surveillance, security, or information technology.

Alongside the introduction of tertiary cybersecurity courses across the globe, there is also a growing enthusiasm for primary and secondary schools to incorporate digital and cyber literacy training to ensure that students stay well-informed in the face of digital fraud and other forms of misinformation, and are also well-prepared to combat the generally extensive list of dangers that may await them online.

Emergence in the private and public sectors

Digitalisation has prompted businesses across the globe to develop their website as well as establish and maintain social media profiles, to ensure that they can interact with potential customers or clients in multiple channels.

As a result, organisations across the globe have been greatly investing in web design, digital marketing, UX design, and in services across the ICT sector.

As more and more organisations adopt digital channels for accepting payment and managing sensitive organisational or client data, cybersecurity has been proving itself to be a key player in the digital strategy and maintenance of a host of organisations, ranging from government agencies to retail, hospitality, healthcare, and a myriad of other organisations operating in the private sector too.

As cybersecurity is widely becoming known as an indispensable fixture for all organisations looking to boost their reputability and longevity, professionals with qualifications in this discipline aren't locked into any specific sector, meaning that you can have total control over your career arc, and your pick of a range of opportunities for growth and professional advancement.

The influence of AI and machine learning

In recent years, artificial intelligence has been utilised by hackers and other cybercriminals to spearhead a selection of new and aggressive malware and ransomware that have the potential to wreak havoc on an international scale.

Thankfully, the best defence against these new threats is exactly what created them in the first place: AI and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence has proven itself to be a valuable resource when it comes to the areas of software and systems development in particular.

As a result, many cybersecurity courses and ICT training courses do explore the power and influence of AI, as well as the potential for AI to create and maintain an automated contingency plan.

This contingency plan is likely to be a system that can recognise foreign threats and can use this recognition to trigger an automated shutdown of your organisation's network or take another automated measure that may protect your organisational data.

AI can essentially streamline the responsibilities of any professional working in cybersecurity.

If the bulk of your minor threats are likely to be handled autonomously, cybersecurity experts can focus their attention on avoiding more largescale, insidious threats.

As the best defence in cybersecurity is proactivity and risk mitigation rather than risk response, having this extra time and energy can be the difference between a secure business, and a thriving business.

A new school of ethics

Finally, the growth of cybersecurity hasn't just opened up professional pathways for cybersecurity professionals alone.

The rapid digitalisation of industry has also generated a need for cyberethics as well as the development of cyber laws and regulations.

It's now possible for lawyers to specialise in cyberlaw, working with both governments and organisations to ensure that any hackers or malware developers are held accountable for the damage caused by their digital attacks.

In a similar vein, both local, state, and federal policing agencies have established departments specifically for handling cases of cybercrime.

With the development of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), it's now easier than ever for individuals and organisations alike to know their rights online, engage with the ethics of cybersecurity, and also report cybercrimes to their local authorities.


Cybersecurity is a discipline that is still growing and changing with every passing day, which is what makes this field perfect for any professionals who thrive in fast-paced environments and respond well to complex challenges.

A career in cybersecurity will likely be incredibly eclectic and filled with learning opportunities. Look into cybersecurity courses being offered at institutions around you if you're interested to learn more about this novel industry.