The cyber security crisis is more rampant than ever. And, this time, it’s the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which has been targeted. Following a warning that hackers were taking control of visitors’ computers to mine Monero – a rival cryptocurrency to Bitcoin - they took the decision to take their website down.

Mining involves creating new digital ‘coins’ by solving complex mathematical problems and relies on large amounts of computer processing power, which results in high electricity bills. In order to make the maximum profit on these cryptocurrencies, hackers are inserting software into websites which then makes it possible to use visitors’ computers to do the mining. Although it doesn’t appear to cause data loss or damage to systems, it does mean that computers run more slowly.

In addition to the ICO website, several other UK websites, including a student loans website, were found to be running the hacked script. With these attacks becoming increasingly frequent, the demand for cyber security professionals continues to rise. And with an anticipated worldwide shortage of 1.8 million cyber security professionals by 2022, there’s an opportunity for IT people with relevant transferrable skills to take on these roles. Jonathan Martin, cyber security recruitment expert at Networkers, comments:

“This is another example of organisations having to be reactive towards threats rather than on the front foot. With the continued acute skills shortage of cyber security professionals these occurrences are only going to increase in regularity. Companies need to take the initiative and offer opportunities to IT individuals with transferable skills, such as those in 2nd and 3rd line support or existing audit/analyst positions. By providing the right training, employers can help these skilled IT professionals move into this exciting area and ultimately benefit from more robust security systems and processes.”

If you’re looking to get into cyber security, take a look at our jobs here.

To find out more about the ICO cyber security breach, read the full BBC article here.

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