With 2020 quickly coming to an end, the field of cybersecurity is expanding more than ever and has proven to be essential in our technology-driven society. Research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates that by 2030, there will be 91 billion devices, with 10 connected devices per human. In addition to human devices like phones and computers, breaches of security of the finance and banking industry, federal government agencies (as recently experienced with concerns of foreign intervention in the US election), and other devices like self-driving cars and even doorbell cameras have been significant issues for companies and people, and have created a large demand for increased investment in cybersecurity.
Data scientists have been established as key players in cybersecurity through their ability to utilize AI and machine learning to identify, predict, and block threats. A study by MeriTalk found that 84% of respondents used data to block threats. Also, a study by Capgemini found that nearly two-thirds of survey respondents agreed that AI lowered the cost of detecting and responding to breaches by an average of 12%, prompting an increase in AI budgets by 29%. Looking forward, research firm Markets and Markets expects a sharp increase in AI investment over the coming years, up to $35 billion by 2025. Even with more investment in the cybersecurity field, a large barrier for the utilization of AI and big data in cybersecurity is a data science talent gap. The MeriTalk study demonstrates how the single largest issue federal government agencies have in fighting against security breaches is the lack of skilled personnel. Along with the investment in AI and machine learning, finding skilled and experienced data scientists will be essential for the future of the field, and 2020 has proven to be a great step in the right direction for cybersecurity.
Make sure to look out for The Data Standard’s full report on The State of Data Science 2020, coming January 6th!