It’s virtually impossible to accurately predict everything that can and probably will happen in the realm of cybersecurity over the next year. Today’s hackers are a whole new breed. They are constantly scheming, plotting, looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit and improving their tactics to achieve their desired results. But while these sophisticated criminals will certainly give security experts a run for their money, there are a few things we believe we can expect to occur over the next six to twelve months. In the first of a two part series, here are five cybersecurity predictions to keep in mind as we head into 2017.
- IoT security takes a front row seat. As more and more organizations and individuals alike are adopting smart, connected technology, more doors will be opened for potential security breaches. That means everything from consumer devices, like smart watches, to the plethora of intuitive devices being used throughout offices across the globe will become even more of a focal point for hackers in 2017. Cybersecurity pros will need to pay close attention to keeping these ports of entry safeguarded.
- A move to greater cloud adoption. In years past, organizations that were most vulnerable to cyber-attacks, such as those in the financial industry, have been leery about adopting cloud technology. But as newer, stronger and more enhanced compliance, regulations and security features have been rolled out, more of these institutions and companies will begin making the shift. Additionally, more organizations will begin allowing the increased use of connected devices within their networks in conjunction with cloud solutions. As such, a renewed focus on developing and implementing stronger cybersecurity methods to address the increase in vulnerabilities will be equally important.
- Greater government involvement. In the US as well as other major countries around the world, it’s become abundantly clear that the topic of cybersecurity isn’t just about corporate network breaches and consumer data protection. In the wake of the fact that cyber criminals are now leveraging the internet to further their own political or social agendas (think power grid outages and water system interferences). As a result, world governments are cracking down and instituting stricter and more complex regulations surrounding cybersecurity. These changes will also affect businesses, so leaders should take note.
- A steady growth in insider threats. It’s no secret that one of the weakest links in corporate security lies with the employees and other “insiders,” like contractors and consultants. Unfortunately, despite this relatively widespread awareness, successful security breaches through tactics like phishing schemes and ransomware continue to rise. To combat this, organizations must reframe how they approach cybersecurity, acknowledging that the threat often lies within and investing in the appropriate safeguard measures, like employee training and automated incident response.
- Addressing the skills gap. While there have been recent strives made in terms of identifying cybersecurity as a critical role for up-and-coming IT scholars to focus their studies on, until these professionals officially become available, the skills gap will remain. As such, organizations must find a way to bridge this gap, whether it’s the lack of qualified experts on the market or the lack of resources necessary to employ such experts. Expect to see increased reliance on MSSPs and/or greater internal adoption of automation to help lighten this load over the coming months.
Are you prepared for these predictions? Will your organization remain secure over the coming year? Stay tuned for part two as we reveal five more cybersecurity trends that we believe will occur over the next 12 months.