Demand for cryptocurrency skills surges, but lacks cyber security expertise

Trend Micro warns the lack of cybersecurity skills in cryptocurrency environments could be dangerous for firms

Skills gap

Demand for skills in cryptocurrencies is growing, but security expertise isn't keeping up, leaving businesses open to attack, a report by Trend Micro has revealed.

In the cryptocurrency world, businesses are seeking employees with a knowledge of blockchain, finance, Java, bitcoin and Javascript, but crucially missing from the list is cybersecurity knowledge.

"Cryptocurrency has exploded as a popular way to support digital transactions, and these figures show that organisations are seeking more skills to take advantage of lower fees and instant payments," said Bharat Mistry, principal security strategist, Trend Micro.

Although it's great that businesses are adapting to changing tech trends, Mistley warned that not having sufficient cybersecurity skills could be very dangerous.

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"We all know that where the money goes cybercriminals will follow. They will target business' crypto exchanges by whatever means possible to pilfer their funds or steal their personal information. Any individuals involved in running or using these systems need to be highly alert to the growing cyber risks."

And on the reverse, cryptocurrency is very low on the list of job openings for security professionals. Only 8% of the available security-focused roles mention candidates need a knowledge or cryptocurrencies.

"Cybercriminals are using a variety of tools and techniques to install miners, including server exploits, a PHP vulnerability, malvertisements and other forms of malware," Bharat continued.

"If unauthorised cryptocurrency miners make their way into the network, this is a red flag not only for the affected individual user device, but for overall network security. There needs to be a coordinated approach across the organisation, with clear roles and responsibilities to keep cryptocurrency secure."

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