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The Public’s Interest in Cybersecurity

Much like the Internet and the rise of digital technology, cybersecurity has been a growing interest area for the past decades. A proxy to track public interest in concepts, people or anything is search queries.

Google Trends is a tool that can look at trends over time, by region and for trends that relate to each other. The results can tell a story. Knowing the past can help understand the present and predict the future.

Interest over Time

Interest in Cybersecurity has been growing steadily over time. The downward trends likely relate to holidays. The upticks on the chart relate to a combination of trends and events.

  • April 2009: The first jump on the map happens here. After this point, interest takes off. This could be explained by a combination of factors. Social media becoming more important in people’s lives. Smart phones are becoming widespread. The increasing digital reliance corresponds to interest in secure. In addition, the National Cybersecurity Act of 2009 was introduced in April.
  • February 2016: One explanation for the jump is that President Obama asked for record-level funding for cybersecurity this month. People without previous knowledge of cybersecurity might have searched online to find out what this term meant.
  • Every October: The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is October. This was created by the National Cyber Security Alliance. That organization is supported by many technology companies. They promote efforts to improve cybersecurity awareness in the public.

Interest by Region

Regional data is ranked and measured in relative numbers, rather than absolute. The top states in searches are:

  1. Washington DC
  2. Maryland
  3. Virginia
  4. New York
  5. Massachusetts

The top three states are located at the heart of American politics and military influence. People in these industries pay close attention to threats. New York and Massachusetts are home to many high technology and finance industry. People working in this area also need to stay informed.

The bottom states are:

50. Wyoming
51: Alaska

People in these states are involved in less activities that are at risk from cyber threats. The major industries in these states do not relate to technology or finance.

Interest by Reason


The results show that people searching for these terms are often looking with the goal of improving their career prospects. Job openings and salaries in the cybersecurity field come up as a top related topic. Cybersecurity degrees, certifications and education are other topics that appear.

From the perspective of an organization, people are searching for ways to make their company secure. The NIST Framework is a topic that is often searched for.

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