The development of the World Wide Web and of Industry 4.0 have enabled and will continue to enable major productivity gains and new business opportunities. Further productivity and the emergence of new businesses will be accelerated by the emergence of AI applications and the new 5G telecommunication standard, which is in the process of being deployed.

However, the evolution of new digital solutions also increases the dangers and risks of cyberattacks, defined as any types of offensive manoeuvre that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks or personal computer devices. Attempts to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain unauthorised access to or make unauthorised use of an asset in the digital world are prevented through applications in cybersecurity. This term can be described as the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks and data from malicious attacks. Although new technical interfaces and developments bring technical progress, they also increase potential target areas.

This article examines the development of innovations and standards in the field of cybersecurity in order to gain an overview of the security landscape in the digital age.

In order to identify cybersecurity-related patents, the IPlytics platform database was used to perform an extensive keyword search of patents filed worldwide in the cybersecurity field. The search was based on the patent’s content (title, abstracts, description and claims), making use of state-of-the-art stemming and semantic indexing methods. As the granting process of patents may take several years we have included patent applications as well as granted patents. Figure 1 illustrates the number of patent applications per year between 2007 and 2019. The numbers overall illustrate increasing filings since 2011 with a slight decrease in 2015.

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