Information Security Trends: Current and Future Impact on IT Industry and Related Professions
(Author’s Full Name)
With the technological processes becoming complicated day by day, future information security trends are assumed to be complicated as well. These trends are expected to create social tensions and can be viewed by the society as threatening; both towards their privacy and towards their job security. A simple example is that of surveillance technology proliferation, leading to debates on whether the technology is beneficial in terms of control, or does it violate the fundamental right of privacy? This paper explains the social and institutional impact of current and future information system security trends on career growth, IT personnel, privacy and business ethics.
With rapid changes in information security trends, various new fields of studies have emerged, and several institutions are now providing certifications that are acceptable in the IT industry and imperative for career growth. Organizations are taking a proactive approach towards handling information system security issues; such as hacking, DDOS attacks and phishing. As a result, the IT industry is investing heavily in hiring employees with the necessary security skills and expertise required to tackle the issues. On a social level, this means increased job and career growth opportunities for individuals possessing industry certifications from recognized accreditation bodies. The demand for such professionals increased exponentially, so much so that 2005 was declared by analysts to be the “year of the security professionals.”
On an institutional perspective, the current and future information security system trends heavily relying on proactive approaches and highly-qualified technicians to counter security issues have created several new industry certifications, courses and accreditation bodies for competent individuals that are recognized globally and are essential for career growth. A few examples of such certifications are listed below: .
- Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Cisco-certified Security Professional (CSP)
- Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
- Novell Certified Linux Professional (Novell CLP)
- Certified Linux Engineer (CLE); and
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD).
I.T Personnel and I.T Industry
Information System security implementation at workplace can have consequences on employee morale and productivity. Thomas R. Peltier explains that an effective information system security program cannot be implemented without creating awareness for the need of a security program and providing proper educational and training facilities to the employees. He explains that the learning aspect consists of three fundamental elements: .
- Create awareness; to motivate employees
- Training; to teach specific skills; and
- Education; to provide in-depth knowledge of the information systems and security.
With increasing interdependencies between organizations, the public and the government as envisaged by the future information system security trends, the security should not be limited to policies and guidelines being implemented from the top-down. It can have consequences on IT personnel. It is a procedure that requires an overall change in the organizational culture.
Before the compliance with the policies is carried out, the IT personnel must first be made aware of the need to implement such policies. This involves participative-style discussions and policy drafting. . This awareness campaign is an on-going process and must be conducted on a periodic basis and should be incorporated even at the post-implementation review stage. .
The IT industry, however, is on a continuous growth path. With new information security trends emerging, it has provided a platform for several new IT fields of study to emerge. This has led to increased demand in the IT industry for competent professionals, and, as a result, the industry itself has witnessed a boom since 2005. . Future trends in information system security are likely to pave way for more IT companies (specializing in particular IT fields) to emerge.
Business Ethics and Personal/Professional Privacy
A research paper on the ethical and social implications of information systems identifies that the current and new systems are likely to incur consequences. These include loss of privacy, change in incentives and depersonalization. However, they also enable economies of scale and better quality products and services. .
Information Systems raise ethical questions on both individual and societal level because they are the driving force behind massive social changes and threaten the power, rights and obligations and funds distribution structure within the society. The ethical issues related to current information system security include .
- Health Risks; security design requires hours of computing, leading to an increase in health risk factors. Examples of health risks include Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
- Employment; drafting new security policies leads to work re-engineering. Such redesigning can cause massive unemployment among middle-level managers and clerical staff. An economist predicted, in this regard, that “in the future, a highly qualified elite group of computer professionals will dominate the I.T sector of a massively-unemployed country.”
- Personal/Professional Privacy; information systems are capable of storing large amounts of data. The data provided by the users (such as their credit card details, passwords, etc.) can easily be manipulated and accessed by any other user of the information system, or an intruder. Employee records, salaries, bonuses, promotions, medical records, etc. are also susceptible to unethical hacking. While the future information system security trends offer tighter security, they also pose certain threats to the individuals, such as the use of surveillance technology to tap their phone records, emails and work routine.
Olumoye, M. Y. (2013). Ethics and Social Impact of Information Systems in Our Society: Analysis and Recommendations. International Journal of Science and Research, 155-158.
Peltier, T. R. (2005, June). Implementing an Information Security Awareness Program. Retrieved from Security Management Practices: http://www.infosectoday.com/IT%20Today/Peltier_awareness.pdf
Reushcer, D. (n.d.). IT Trends: IT Career and Certification Opportunities. Retrieved from About.com/Tech Certifications: http://certification.about.com/od/certifications/a/IT_trends.htm