Top Cyber Security Trends of 2017

Cyber security is a hot topic and a big concern for businesses and others alike. The top cyber security trends of 2017 are…

Increase in Cyber-Attacks on Businesses Making Headlines

Cyber-attacks, cyber-criminals, and cyber security are dominating the headlines. The appendage of cyber-criminals span the globe, executing cyber-attacks and pursuing financial gain through theft of identities, stealing intellectual property and disrupting businesses.  Cybersecurity plays the significant role in combating with cyber-attacks in today’s rapidly-evolving technology landscape. New trends in mobility and connectivity present a broader range of challenges than ever before as new attacks continue to develop along with emerging tactics.

2016 was a challenging year for all things cyber. The cyber world saw many attacks with a goal of financial gain. We saw nation-states threatening cyber-attacks around the US election. And, we saw the revival of the security versus privacy debate that rages on. It was the year that brought major breaches at TalkTalk with an accompanying £400k fine. The hack resulted in the attacker accessing the personal information of more than 150,000 customers of the internet service provider, including sensitive financial data for more than 15,000 people. Several ransomware attacks in 2016 occurred due to a vulnerability in the apache commons-collections library. Attackers exploited this vulnerability, remotely installed ransomware on servers running unpatched versions of certain Java application servers. And of course, cyber-attacks were big news leading up to the 2016 election in the United States. Email accounts belonging to John Podesta and Colin Powell were hacked using phishing attacks. The DNC’s servers were also compromised, resulting in the theft of several staff members’ emails.

But with as much that occurred in 2016, 2017 is the year for even more headlines. For example, on January 2017, the Emory Healthcare faced the largest health data breach attack on a database used by for patient appointments. The incident exposed data on almost 80,000 individuals. And Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won’t be paid her annual bonus nor receive a potentially lucrative stock award after an independent investigation into security breaches at the search giant found that the company’s senior executives and legal team failed to properly comprehend or investigate the severity of the attacks. The results of the probe, including new details about the 2014 security breach that the company suffered – which compromised the personal information of more than 1 billion users and already have cost the company $350 million.

Increase in Government Intervention

Another top cyber security trend of 2017 is continued improvements in relevant regulations and intervention. The dynamic and fast-moving nature of cyber security is moving from businesses to the general public, creating new challenges for governments.

The trend for more regulations is prevalent. For instance, The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has proposed regulations to ensure that institutions better protect themselves. While praising the work that members have done to proactively increased their cybersecurity programs, the regulation will require each company to assess its specific risk profile and design a program that addresses its risks in a robust.

In another example, the government of Indonesia is currently accelerating its efforts to establish a national cyber security agency. This idea to have a nationwide cyber security watchdog has been brewing for quite some time. And in the US, President Trump is likely to look for ways for the National Security Agency and other agencies to assist the government and companies defend against cyber-attacks, said Jeffrey Eisenach, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a tech adviser during Trump’s presidential transition.

Increase Investment in Security Technology

Cyber-criminals are continuously improving their arsenal to breach defenses. While security engineers are working towards to protect the data, in the other side of the space, attackers are changing their methodology from pure data theft and website hacking to attacking data integrity itself. These type of attacks, in comparison to a straightforward theft of data, will serve to cause long-term, reputation damage to businesses by getting people to question the integrity of the data in question. To fight with the bad guys, IT investments are increasing rapidly.

The spending on IoT security reached $348 million worldwide in current days, which is seems climb to $434 million in 2017. But that likely won’t be enough because analysts still think that by 2020 more than 25% of all identified attacks in the enterprise will involve IoT. And the specter of ransomware continues to rear its ugly head. In fact, with Trend Micro predicting 25% growth in 2017, ransomware looks likely to spread into IoT devices, PoS systems, and ATMs. To protect the devices as well as the ultimate protection of corporate networks, organizations are paying high volume of money in security infrastructure.

Greater Need Cyber Security Professionals

A global shortage of cyber security-skills in the workplace arguably makes organizations more desirable targets for hacking. Demand for expertise will rise as companies realize that their current security strategy is not sufficient. People are a critical component to fighting cyber crimes. Many businesses are finding technology alone is not enough. With more than a million vacant positions worldwide, there have never been more jobs available in cyber security.

To maintain a solid cyber defense, businesses need to have IT professionals with advance skills in threat intelligence, virtual engineers, and, ideally, ‘hunting teams’ that can scour the Dark Web. But these skills are scarce and expensive. According to ISC, by 2020 there’s expected to be a global shortfall of 1.5 million cybersecurity experts. As a result, many organizations will be looking to outsource these activities to external specialists in the year ahead.

What Trends Will Steal the Show?

Threats agents are now more sophisticated in their attacks and use of tools and attack patterns are now being applied to computing devices. This is very much concern for mobile and other small digital devices that are interconnected and often have poor security controls. Cybersecurity has risen to the top of the international priority list in areas ranging from politics to national defense and from smart homes to our global economic system. With new drones, artificial intelligence, social media websites, robots, autonomous cars, smart city infrastructure, and a plethora of Internet of Things (IoT) devices coming onto the market daily. Are businesses prepared for the next-generation cyber-attacks?

It will be interesting to see which of these top cyber security trends of 2017 will steal the show.

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