Technology penetrates every sphere of our lives, and more devices mean more cybersecurity challenges. How we protect systems is evolving with technology and threats: Routine work like monitoring and response is being automated. But cybersecurity isn’t getting less complex – businesses will soon need new, more creative, more diverse roles.
While they may seem futuristic, some already exist in one form or another. Given long-term trends, leaders should start planning to recruit for these new roles, coming soon.
1. AI mentor
The rise of AI-based technologies like ChatGPT and voice assistants like Siri and Alexa made new tech more accessible while bringing new concerns around privacy and security. AI’s control, regulation and monitoring requirements go beyond product management and development expertise.
William Gibson’s 1984 science fiction book Neuromancer imagined we’d one day have ‘Turing Police’ to control AI and AI-based systems, stopping them evolving and becoming independent. Turing refers to famed UK mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing’s test to distinguish humans from machines. A need for firm limits on AI is little disputed among experts, with a range of tech leaders, including Elon Musk, signing a open letter asking for a pause in AI development in March 2023.
AI Mentors will assess and control AI technology. They may also teach AIs, control access to data and constrain evolution – you might call it, being AI’s parent. As AI’s complexity and sophistication grows, there will be growing demand for such experts.
AI mentors could also develop ‘stop’ buttons to prevent systems operating on their own. They may also develop protection against malfunction and alternative rescue plans if computers are out of service.
2. Digital footprint consultant
Leaks and breaches negatively affect any brand. Cybercriminals often use threats of reputational damage to extort money from companies once inside systems. A digital footprint consultant will work to protect your brand.
However, there’s no need to wait for a digital footprint consultant to come on board before you develop strategies to restore your brand reputation after a data leak.
3. Cyber immunity developer
Cybersecurity will change as businesses are forced to rethink how they develop new tech.
Instead of cybersecurity being an afterthought – sometimes even after prototyping and testing – we’ll need to think ‘security first.’
Embedding cybersecurity principles from the start makes cyber immunity possible – systems so secure that the cost of hacking them isn’t worth the reward. Demand for cyber-immune products will see employees scrambling to hire designers and developers with security-first skills.
4. Threat endurance manager
2022 was a costly year for cyberattacks, with high-profile big tech names like Twitter, Uber and Rockstar Games all hit. Cybercriminals don’t shy away from attacking public services and life-saving institutions either, with several universities, the UK’s National Health Service and the Red Cross among those attacked.
Cyberattacks interrupt production and business processes, pose reputational risks and lead to big financial losses. Health insurance giant Medibank reported a ransomware attack cost them 26 million US dollars.
Threat endurance managers will be in high demand among those that can’t afford a shutdown, like critical infrastructure and healthcare.
They’ll be responsible for business continuity and protect companies by controlling IT systems, responding to cyberattacks and managing software and human errors.
5. Cyber investigator
Cyber investigators already exist, but their work will become more complex and diverse as digital systems get more sophisticated and automated.
These specialists normally manage the aftermath of a security breach, covering the whole investigation and eliminating the threat. At Kaspersky, they collect evidence about an incident by analyzing log files and network events, finding indicators of compromise and more.
New-generation cyber investigators will be generalists with skills in programming and hacking, but also psychology and decision-making in volatile conditions. They’ll also understand robotics and AI, as they must work with emerging systems.
6. Digital bodyguard
Like bodyguards in the physical world, we’ll want to hire consultants to protect our digital identities. These bodyguards will protect against doxing – when attackers publish personal data online for revenge – and cyberstalking. They’ll clean our accounts and digital history, and guide and support our virtual lives.
Pew Research Center found more than 40 percent of US adults experienced online harassment in 2020. Sometimes, online harassment is linked with offline harassment and even violence. Digital bodyguards will help protect us from these kinds of threats, and disrupt and identify the offender when they happen. They may also give victims emotional support.
Businesses that provide digital technologies must consider how they’ll facilitate digital bodyguards’ work protecting their clients.
7. Space cybersecurity engineer
Satellites are the most conspicuous piece of space technology in daily life, used in communications, navigation systems, broadcast media and more. Our reliance on satellites makes them attractive to threat actors.
The space industry needs dedicated specialists to prevent attacks, particularly securing operational systems like navigation, engine control and life support. With the advent of space tourism, asteroid mining and new space stations, there’ll be rising demand for out-of-this-world cybersecurity experts.
What does it all mean for business?
The cybersecurity landscape is complex and always changing, giving rise to new roles like these predicted. It’s easy for businesses to get left behind.
Examples of expensive data breaches at big-name institutions suggest those who invest in top cybersecurity will save time and money long-term. For those developing future technologies, embedding cyber immunity is becoming necessary, especially if your tech will be used in critical services like healthcare and infrastructure.