High profile breaches, like Target, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Our CEO Patrick Dennis discussed the state of cybersecurity with students at the National Technical Institute of Deaf, who are participating in their first-ever forensics boot camp.
“There are many more breaches that people never hear about,” Patrick said. He believes that the number is much higher and that it is more likely there are at least 90 million breaches per year.
Attacks are becoming more sophisticated and cybercriminals are customizing their attacks to the organization that they’re targeting. At least 60 percent of organizations will be successfully attacked or targeted this year.
The cyber landscape is also constantly changing. For example, the number of devices attached to the Internet is increasing.
“If it attaches to the Internet, it can be attacked and everything is connected to the Internet,” Patrick added.
Companies are also shifting to doing more business digitally. However, there’s an estimated $3 trillion in lost revenue because companies can’t digitize fast enough due to security issues.
Today’s Cyber Job Market
There is a major labor shortage in the IT security industry, Patrick told the students. Thousands of jobs are going unfilled. “There’s an opportunity for you today,” he said.
According to a project conducted by the Stanford University Journalism Program, more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the United States and postings are up 74 percent over the past five years. The demand for information security professionals is expected to grow by 53 percent through 2018.
“You’re picking up the industry’s hottest skill set,” he said.
The Road to CEO
“I didn’t have the most traditional path,” Patrick added.
After his father had a heart attack when (Patrick) was in high school, he decided to go to college closer to home. He ended up working full-time at Eastman Kodak while attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at night.
“I believe things in life happen for a reason,” he suggested.
He started out as a developer, eventually transitioning into sales. He worked at Oracle, where he led the development of Oracle’s commercial business in North America. Patrick went onto become senior vice president and chief operating officer of EMC’s Cloud Management Division.
“The path to CEO is not so straight,” he told the students, later adding, “I think it’s important to have goals but you never know what’s going to happen.”
He also stressed the benefits of traveling and experiencing different cultures. Patrick has visited at least 20 different countries.
“Traveling gives you a greater appreciation for communications and dealing with diverse people,” he said.
Patrick also encouraged the students to embrace the ideas they come up with while at NTID, noting that his most inventive years were when he was younger.
"Be fearless in acting on your great ideas."