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Current Issues in Information Security

Billions of bytes of data flow through the global business environment every minute. To manage and protect that tsunami of digital information, businesses rely on information systems that support transaction processing, analytics, management and executive decision-making.

Mature and evolving information systems create competitive advantages. Efficient data management and distribution improves efficiency, enables innovation and helps deploy fast-emerging technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI).

Protecting those systems is creating enormous demand for information security professionals. Earning a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) with a concentration in Information Security, such as the one offered online from Murray State University, is an ideal path to future-proofing your career.

In fact, job opportunities are plentiful in the information systems and information security (InfoSec) space, meaning graduates from Murray State University’s online program are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the job outlook for information security analysts, in particular, is a projected 32% between 2022 and 2032.

Information Security Defined and Current Challenges in the Space

Though related to cybersecurity, InfoSec is a broader field that focuses on developing access controls, encryption, backup protocols and user training. Its scope includes physical information, documents, records, marketing and advertising materials that require measures to safeguard confidentiality, integrity and regulatory compliance.

Tech Target echoes BLS data by identifying the shortage of qualified InfoSec professionals among its top information security challenges in 2024. It notes that “hiring employees with the necessary skills and retaining those employees is still a challenge.”

Other technical and financial downside trends in information security identified by Tech Target include:

  • Artificial intelligence and generative AI
  • Ransomware and phishing
  • Budget reductions and limitations

“Cybercriminals aren’t going to let up, and neither should enterprise security teams’ efforts to protect networks, systems, applications and data,” it concludes.

Why Is Information Security Important?

The survival of any business, regardless of size or scope, depends on the quality of the procedures and technology it uses to protect its information. Securing it from external cyberthreats and unauthorized internal access is critical to business success.

“The importance of information security cannot be overstated,” Audit Board warns. “Company efficiency and solid data management work hand-in-hand, and secure handling of client information keeps your company’s brand reputation intact.”

It cites the FBI Internet Crime Report to emphasize the importance of InfoSec. Losses from information breaches are skyrocketing as businesses become more dependent on data. In 2017, losses to U.S. businesses totaled $1.4 billion and increased to $4.2 billion in 2020. Cybercrime Magazine predicts global cybercrime will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.

“More than half of all cyberattacks are committed against small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs), and 60 percent of them go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or hack,” the magazine reports. SMBs account for 97% of businesses in the U.S., and two-thirds of them reported an information breach in 2018-20.

What Are Some of the Latest Trends in Information Security?

Gartner identifies six trends among information security challenges. Among them is the fact that InfoSec executives and senior managers are shifting focus to employees’ role in protecting data. Designing and deploying security behavior and culture programs (SBCB) programs is a key responsibility of InfoSec professionals.

Key processes and procedures within an SBCB program include:

  • Education and training
  • InfoSec policy development and enforcement
  • Open communication about security issues and accountability for security responsibilities
  • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • Continuous monitoring and optimization

Other trends that professionals must be aware of include AI phishing, ransomware, budget restraints, supply chain stressors and hybrid work security challenges, according to Tech Target. Gartner predicts that the combined technical and human-centric trends will lead security leaders to adopt “a range of practices, technical capabilities and structural reforms within their security programs, with a view to improving organizational resilience and the cybersecurity function’s performance.”

Graduates with advanced degrees, such as an online MSIS in Information Systems program, are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to address current issues in the space and meet industry demand. Courses like Legal Issues in Information Security exemplify Murray State University’s emphasis on the InfoSec trends of today.

Learn more about Murray State University’s online Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in Information Security program.

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