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Companies can't keep up with hackers causing cyber security risks and major data breaches in 2017

Posted at 6:55 PM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 12:02:50-05

Keeping our personal information out of the hands of thieves is a second-by-second struggle for companies that store those financial and medical records.

It's a breach battle some fear we're losing.

If this year is any indication, we may be more vulnerable than once thought.

Right now, hackers are upping their game, trying to find new ways to get your personal information.

As it turns out, some of those on the frontline trying to stop the hacks lack the knowledge needed to get the job done.

2017 saw its share of bombshell hacks that impacted millions of Americans.

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"What people are doing and how they are breaking in is constantly evolving," said Spencer McIntyre with SecureState.

That constant change is now creating a cyber security skills shortage.

"What's relevant now is probably not going to be relevant in another couple of years," said McIntyre.

Talent in the field is failing to catch-up with hackers, who always seem to be two steps ahead.

"It's kind of hard for formal education programs to keep up with it," said McIntyre.

Especially now, as the threat shifts from individuals to highly sophisticated, well-funded groups targeting financial institutions and healthcare providers.

“Companies that have valuable assets need to up their game in terms of being able to defend against those,” said McIntyre.

McIntyre is head of research and innovation at SecureState. The Bedford Heights business provides on the job training to help companies keep their information safe.

"A lot of organizations that have been breached - the others within in their industry are starting to realize hey this could have been us, we need to take this much more seriously," said McIntyre.

SecureState is helping fill the education void that exists right now. Demand for the training and testing the company provides is growing with the roll out of new requirements for storing financial and health information.

“A lot of organizations are coming to us to help them ensure they are meeting those government regulations," said McIntyre.

Security professionals are now calling for a shift away from just filling these positions, to making sure those in the role are adequately trained to keep your valuable information locked down.

Companies world-wide are feeling the pinch from the shortage. A new survey shows 70% of security professionals feel the shortage in trained manpower has had an impact on their organization.

Meantime, 91% of them also said they feel they are vulnerable to a significant cyber-attack or data breach in the near future.