What do Apple, Hilary Clinton, And The Office Of Personnel Management Have In Common?

Cyber security has been at the forefront of the news this month, projected to be a prominent topic of discussion in the next presidential election, as well as an increasing focus for corporate and venture capitalist investment.  Furthermore, cyber security and information safety have led to major PR nightmares and legal headaches for not only big tech companies such as Apple and Sony, but for a variety of companies such as Volkswagen, Hilton, and even government agencies and political figures (remember Hilary Clinton’s email scandal?) who have all succumbed to questionable cyber integrity, whether from external, or internal sources.

According to a recent report released by KPMG that included information garnered from over a thousand CEOs of companies with at least $500M in revenue in ten major economies around the world,  a whopping 50%–half the CEOs polled–indicated that their firms are either not prepared, or only partially prepared, to deal with a major cyber event.  Is your firm prepared to stand up against a security breach?

Read on to see who’s been in the recent news with regards to cyber security.  A lucky few have been spotlighted for their success and promising projections surrounding security; others have faced less fortunate security happenings.   How has your firm fared in light of the cyber-centric shift in business?


Good Month for Cyber SecurityBad Month for Cyber Security

Cyber Security Companies and their Investors

Company budgets for cyber security are growing out of necessity and this trend isn’t projected to change any time soon. Given the demand from banks, retailers, government agencies and hospitals, worldwide spending on information security technology is expected to grow from about $77 billion this year to $108 billion in 2019, according to research firm Gartner.

In addition to some corporations, such as JP Morgan doubling their information security spend, investors are following suit.  The sector has raised more than $2.3 billion globally so far this year, according to industry data, and is expected to remain a hot spot for big-dollar financing deals even during an economic downturn.

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Despite the release of new operating system iOS9 which Apple claimed to be one of the most secure operating systems for mobile devices, the news surrounding Apple in recent weeks has been far less fortunate.  For one, they faced their first-ever large-scale attack on their App store, affecting hundreds to thousands of Chinese apps.  Prior to this attack, a total of only five malicious apps had ever been found in the app store.

To add insult to injury, Zerodium, an exploit acquisition company who admits that iOS9 is “currently the most secure mobile OS” has promised $1,000,000 to any researcher that can provide an “exclusive, untethered jailbreak” for the latest Apple iOS.  Zerodium is clear that they are seeking “exclusive” iOS exploits, which means that once they own the exploit, the researcher will not be able to share the intel with anyone, including Apple.

Learn about Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple Computers


Last week, President Obama met with China’s leader Xi Jinping to address a myriad of issues, with cyber security being at the top of the agenda.

Notes from the meeting conclude that both China and America are committed to making common effort to further identify and promote appropriate norms of state behavior in cyberspace within the international community.  

According to the White House “The United States and China agree that neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.”

While Obama has lauded this agreement as morale boosting, it has been criticized by many agencies and individuals due to the fact that it doesn’t address issues of enforcement, or issues of National Security, such as the OPM breach which resulted in the loss of millions of private records, including as many as 5.6 million fingerprint records.

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Considering the inevitability of cyber attacks upon corporations, websites, and government agencies, as well as increased corporate budget allotments and venture capitalist investments, cyber security is one of the fastest growing fields in the tech sector.  However, this male-dominated field is facing a workforce shortage.

One explanation for the shortage can be attributed to the overwhelming gender gap in the tech field.  According to the Global Information Security Workforce Study, women represent more than 50% of college graduates, but less than 11% of the cyber security workforce.  

ISC2, the largest organization that certifies cyber professionals, said on Monday that a  survey of information security professionals in developed countries found that just 10 percent were women, down from 11 percent two years ago.

If the disproportionate number of women in the cyber security field continues on as a trend in the future, women are going to miss out on opportunities in the fastest growing field in tech.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected Raytheon Company to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the agency’s Network Security Deployment (NSD) Division.

Reps from Raytheon confirmed that the company was awarded a new contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help more than 100 civilian agencies manage their computer security, which could be worth $1B.

In a statement announcing the contract, Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon said that cyber incidents have increased an average of 66 percent a year between 2009 and 2014.

This deal is just further evidence of the growing trend and demand for computer security services.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

Not only do you have to worry about your credit cards and social security numbers being stolen, but after the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) was recently breached, you can now worry about your fingerprint information being stolen as well.  The agency has reported that as many as 5.6 million fingerprint records have been stolen from the database.

This has huge implications for new technologies such as the iPhone 6, or high tech building entrances, that utilize fingerprints instead of passwords to grant access, especially since it is easy to change a password, but not easy to change your fingerprint.  Learn more about futurist technology experts here.

Many security investigators have attributed this attack to China, yet this specific issue did not appear to be discussed during Obama’s recent meeting with China’s leader, Xi Jinping.

The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.