As 2017 comes to a close, we look back at the year that’s been and rank the top 10 most-read stories on Information Age. They range from the recent changes to ACS’s Advisory Boards and Committees, to an opinion piece by CEO Andrew Johnson on the 457 visa reforms. While the subjects differed, some patterns did emerge. Stories about jobs and employment attracted great interest, as did those about cyber security. With discussion around bitcoin at an all-time high, articles on cryptocurrency also made the list.
Here are the Top 10 Information Age stories for 2017.
While the under-representation of women in the ICT industry is well-publicised, with ACS earlier this year reporting women comprise just 28% of all ICT workers in Australia, it is not often that real-life insight is given about the nature of this imbalance. But that’s exactly what attendees of a special Women in Cyber event held in March were given, as women spoke about some of the confronting reasons they quit their careers in cyber security.
Earlier this year, the Turnbull government announced the abolishment of the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa). Replacing the 457 visas will be the new Temporary Skill Shortage visas, coming into play as of March 2018. The changes mean Australian workers are ensured priority for jobs, with the aim to upskill the domestic workforce, a decision that ACS CEO, Andrew Johnson, supported.
Every ICT worker understands the importance of technical skills, but it seems far fewer value human skills. An ACS and Data61 combined report Tomorrow's Digitally Enable Workforce found that employers are now looking for “conceptual and social capabilities” in their workers, as AI and automation continue to knock on the door.
No one ever wants to be vulnerable to a cyber attack, especially when the vulnerability comes from your wi-fi network. But that’s exactly what happened in October when the KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) breach was discovered by a Belgian researcher. While it was unknown whether the vulnerability had been exploited by any hackers, the publicity the story received raised concern amongst web users worldwide.
With Bitcoin value continuing to soar, the focus on cryptocurrencies has never been so high. But it was the misfortune of an anonymous user of Ether, the second most prominent cryptocurrency, that drew attention in October. The user attempted to take control of wallets containing the Ether, but in the act destructed the component – losing the value of $230 million.
In September, ACS made a major announcement, that could change the face of the ICT industry in Australia. Speaking in Canberra, President Anthony Wong declared ACS would now recognise cyber security as a standalone speciality, as he unveiled the new Certified Professional (Cyber Security) and Certified Technologist (Cyber Security) certifications.
An ICT recruitment specialist shed some light on what employers are really looking for when it comes to the hiring process. His top tip? Understand how to use technology to add value to the business. He also told Information Age readers that frontend developer and DevOps roles remain the hardest to fill, due to a lack of skilled graduates coming into the workforce.
ACS’ Advisory Boards and Committees assist in providing worldclass thought leadership. In June, ten Committees in total announced nominations were open for various positions. Chairs and Vice Chairs for each committee were to be appointed to either the Profession, Technical or Member boards.
After almost one hundred applications and months of processing nominations, in October ACS announced the new board and committee members. The high volume of interest reflected the passion of ACS’ members, according to President Anthony Wong. The successful applicants will participate in their respective Boards and Committees for the next 18 months.
When the WannaCry ransomware began spreading globally in May, anyone and everyone was vulnerable. Eight Australian businesses fell victim to the attacks, which asked for a US$300 payout to restore corrupted systems. Globally, no one was safe. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom was forced to cancel doctor’s appointments and surgeries, as their systems failed under the attacks.