Most modern businesses rely on internet technology but with so much valuable data online their very survival depends on protecting their digital assets.

After a number of large scale national and international cyber attacks - Yahoo, Sony and the US Democratic National Committee have all fallen victim to hackers in recent years - large companies and governments have stepped up their IT resources to prevent future attacks.

As a result, cyber criminals are now turning their attention to smaller businesses as the larger ones, whom they used to target for the sizeable hauls on offer, invest in tighter security and become harder to penetrate. This requires businesses to source cyber security service providers who understand the threats and are able to protect them.

How big is the cyber threat?

After seven million cyber attacks were carried out on UK businesses in 2016 and a 22% increase cyber attacks in the same year, 74% of UK businesses now say that cyber security is a high priority.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is mentioned more now than ever before and is an enticing prospect, where everyday electronics like refrigerators, wearables and car computers will be connected to the internet. This would allow to perform tasks automatically like ordering products when they run out or regulating room temperature with just voice commands.

Experts predict that by 2020, 34billion devices will be connected to the internet of which only 10bn will be traditional computing devices. The the need for cyber security due to the growing number of access points that are vulnerable to attack. These threats open up more career opportunities for IT workers with skills and knowledge related to the area for cyber security.