Data breaches are nothing new. As Digital Guardian points out, they’ve “existed for as long as individuals and companies have maintained records and stored private information.”

But with the rise of computer technology, both the frequency and severity of data breaches have increased.

Target and Home Depot are prime examples. But for every high profile breach, there are thousands of smaller leaks that never make the news. And as the most recent US election made clear, private hackers are not always the ones responsible. Even nation states and whistle-blowers are getting involved.

These breaches are no longer “isolated” events. They represent the new normal.

And you don’t have to be a big-name retailer or government to be affected.

Cyber-crime now impacts everyone.

And the rate of these attacks will only accelerate in the coming years for 2 key reasons.

1. Access Equals Power
Cybercrime is effective. It can be used to sway political elections, cripple economies, or hold multinationals hostage. But it can also be used to steal a person’s credit card data to make illegal, anonymous purchases.

2. We’re Super Connected
Technology is more ingrained in our lives than at any other time in history. Most of us carry minicomputers in our pockets that are forever connected to cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Don’t own a smartphone?

You’re still not immune.

The cars, toasters, and coffeemakers we use often depend on 24/7 connectivity. Although these devices come packed with useful features, they also create opportunities for criminals to gain access to your life – a trend we covered in a previous article.

And that is why we’d like to double, triple, and quadruple down on our earlier assessment…

Software Testers Will Enjoy Exponential Demand in the Coming Years

Not everyone agrees with this assessment. According to Career Trends, software testing will only grow a measly 3.3% through 2024 – which is lower than the US national average for other occupational fields.

But make no mistake.

There are very few “other occupational fields” that can protect society from the onslaught of cyber-crime on the horizon.

Remember that we live in a “new” normal where:

  • A skilled teenager working out of his mom’s basement can gain access to your entire financial history.
  • A disgruntled employee can hire someone to hack into your social media accounts.
  • A stranger on the other side of the globe can spy on your family with a hacked webcam.

There are some tools that can help stem the tide. Artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, quantum encryption, and biometric verification are all effective strategies for limiting access and guarding one’s privacy.

And everyone should use these.

But none of these technologies can troubleshoot that which makes cyber-crime so devastating – i.e. the human element. Whereas machines and programs follow set instructions, the hackers of the world face no such constraints. They rely on total independence and creativity in their quest to exploit unknown vulnerabilities.

And this is why we believe the best defense is (and always will be) living, breathing software testers on the front lines. As a society, we should use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves. But outside-the-box thinking remains the most powerful weapon in the anti-cyber-crime arsenal.

Agree? Disagree?

Share your thoughts below.