At first it was the mainframe, then the PC and now it is the cloud in the form of large distributed systems and storage macro units installed in data centers. Applications in the cloud are unstoppable trend and the sector is in fewer and fewer hands. The large distribution companies are contracting more and more external computer services. In some cases it is back office, in others the remote control of infrastructures.
Also the management of stocks in real time to advance in the tastes of the clients. Support for big data analysis programs and artificial intelligence. They are only examples, since any company requires managing increasing amounts of information. The need to offer data processing in real time at high speed and in a flexible way seems to force a technological migration towards the outside of organizations.
The growth of cloud infrastructure services
The research firm Synergy Research estimates that cloud infrastructure services grew 48% last year. And that the top five companies Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Alibaba did so at a rate of more than 60%. The estimated revenues of the sector already exceeded 70,000 million dollars in 2018.
For Gartner consultancy, the migration to cloud based systems does not necessarily have to be more profitable for companies. So it advises hybrid systems in those that are chosen. Well the concrete applications that can be hosted on external servers. In this line, Google has announced that its Anthos system will allow the development and use of applications in its data centers that will also work in competitive environments such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure (Microsoft).
The planetary industrial phenomenon that services represent in the cloud means that both revenues and expenses are triggered in a commercial battle. Which will leave that world market in a handful of large technology companies. At a congress last March in San Francisco in the RSA Conference, experts noted that this uncontrolled growth of migrations to the web is causing an alarming lack of qualified professionals and an increase in security threats.
Security issue and cyber attacks
Companies think that by transferring the applications to the cloud they are more secure. But it is so complex to configure well the controls that many are open and having security specialists is very complicated journeys. In one of the 400 papers presented during the meeting, starring Steve Weber, director of the Center for Long Term Cybersecurity at the University of Berkeley, one of the conclusions was not reassuring. The greatest security challenges are not related to the protection of networks and data of the offenders, protection against manipulation, the maintenance of data integrity and the transmission of trust.
This same month the German chemical giant Bayer acknowledged having been the victim of a computer attack. Signs of infection by the hacker group Winnti were detected in early 2018. There are no indications that there has been a data leak, the company said in a brief balance between the hacked companies.
Winnti’s hackers used malicious software to spy on the company and had access to the Bayer network until the end of March. IT security specialists and German security services assume that Winnti acted on the orders of the Chinese state. Winnti’s spy software has also been detected in three other medium-sized companies in Germany since the beginning of the year and had already affected Thyssenkrupp in 2016.
More than 64% of Spanish companies have faced at least one cyber attack in the last 24 months, which caused some kind of change in their activities, according to Kaspersky. And another worrying element that confirms the situation of lack of control is that 22% of those responsible for information technology in Spain recognize that the attackers did not leave any clue about their identity in the most recent cyber attack they have suffered. Which is what attention, once again, about the difficult work of the analysts, always behind the criminals, who leave no trace. On other occasions they sell their vulnerability findings to the hacked companies themselves, a profitable business for both parties.
Urgent needs of qualified personnel
And in this context of accelerated change and urgent needs of qualified personnel, companies have difficulties to fill their positions. Infojobs acknowledges in its latest report of 2018 that the IT and telecommunications sector has the least competition. A candidate competes with 10 people to obtain a vacancy.
This employment portal notes that IT professionals are the group with the highest salaries offered in Spain. With an average of around 30,000 euros per year for employees with little experience. The problem is that most of these professionals require a long training period to be useful in tasks against cyber crime. “If you do a test of how to hack a computer network, the best candidates only know two or three systems of the usual twenty,” explain industry sources.
Also published on Medium.