Can Maryland Rescue U.S. Cybersecurity?

Learn about Maryland's role in U.S. cybersecurity, and about the various cybersecurity categories.

In 2018, Under Armor, an American footwear company reported that their device named “My Fitness Pal” was hacked, which affected 150 million users worldwide.

Nearly 60 million Americans were affected by identity theft last year. In 2017, 15 million were affected by cybersecurity breaches. These numbers are eye-opening, and show cyber crimes are drastically increasing, necessitating privacy at all costs.

Maryland is, however, a rich environment for the development of the nation’s next generation of cybersecurity immune system and could be leading the nation in protection its most critical infrastructure.

Why is Maryland the New Cyber Hub?

Five years ago few knew that Silicon Valley was a thing, but today the world is revolving around it. It all started back in World War 2 era when an area based in the peninsula south of San Francisco found a way to invest in technical innovation.

Maryland was the first state that set up a cyber-investing arm into its budgets. This resulted in Maryland developing the world’s largest cyber workforce. It has nearly 110,000 engineers and data science professionals. Maryland is also home to many innovation centers, and draws an experienced tech workforce from around the globe.

Maryland currently has the largest workforce of university-trained cyber-engineers in the world, and has more than 7,000 graduates in computer and data science, according to US News.

How Maryland Became the Hub of Cybersecurity

Maryland leads the United States as a cybersecurity hub; it also has close proximity to key buyers and investors. Moreover, Maryland is home to 30 incubators that host cyber startups and give birth to new innovations.

Maryland has the potential to build an integrated ecosystem and invest resources into commercial success to be the world’s largest cybersecurity hub.

What is Cybersecurity and What are its Categories?

Cybersecurity is a practice to protect mobile devices, servers, computers, network, electronic systems and data from malicious attacks. Cybersecurity is also known by these two names:

  • Electronic Information Security
  • Information Technology Security

These terms apply on a variety of contexts these range from businesses to mobile computing and these contexts can be further range into six different categories.

Application Security

It focuses on keeping devices and software out of malware threats. An application that has been compromised is a threat to a user’s data and privacy. Application security refers to the design stage of the app where the security protocols are deployed during the initial drafting of application codes.

Operational Security

The decision of how the assets will be handled, especially the procedure of where the data must be stored and whom it may be shared with, falls under this category of cybersecurity.

Network Security

It is a practice where a computer network is protected from possible malware and targeted attackers.

Information Security

It refers to protecting the integrity and privacy of data in storage and transit.

Business Breach And Disaster Management

It defines how business reacts after a data breach, and how to deal with the aftermath of the incident. The disaster recovery phase explains how businesses stand back on their own after a data breach.

User Education

This refers to teaching safe cybersecurity practices to users, like deleting suspicious attachments on emails and not plugging an unidentified USB drive into hardware, plus other vital lessons that are crucial for the security of an organization. Consider reading guides about online privacy and security on the Internet for more clarity and awareness.

The Scale of Cyber Threat

The cyber threat is real; it is increasing dramatically and changing the course of how we communicate and interact digitally. These threats can be divided into three different folds:

Is Cybersecurity The New Future?

The ever-increasing need for cybersecurity has lead to many job openings, but sadly there isn’t much workforce with the right set of technical expertise. There isn’t enough security analysts that deal with every single security issue that organization's face.

Cybersecurity will reign as the most important defense mechanism in the years to come. In today’s world where everything is connected with each other, cyber defense programs are a blessing in disguise. Companies like financial service providers, hospitals and power plants are extra cautious and rely on advanced cybersecurity defense mechanisms.

Despite how comfortable we are in the digital world, the Internet remains a vulnerable playground for most of us. There are millions of laymen that post their details online and are prone to online attacks. Implementing effective measure is particularly challenging as IoT devices are increasing and are becoming more innovative.

The potential damage to critical systems is too high, which is why it is important governments do not ignore cybersecurity.

Learn more about cybersecurity opportunities in Maryland on the state website.

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