2017 is finally upon us and that means it is everyone’s favorite time of the new year, prediction time. With the new year here means everyone will be making their predictions about what we can expect in the new year. So without further ado here are our cybersecurity predictions for 2017:
1. Ransomware will become a daily headline
Ransomware remains one of the most effective money making effort for cybercriminals, and no single threat has lead to more corporate security procurement decisions. With no end in sight expect to hear more and more about organizations not only being infected by ransomware but paying the ransom to minimize the impact to business. Also, making headlines will be the organizations effected, no longer will be the days or small to medium size businesses being infected but these hackers are getting smarter and more bold and will take on the big fish. 2016 saw a rise of ransomware but the attacks were largely unsophisticated and relying primarily on social engineering as the infection mechanism because it was a proven method to work. 2017 however will see a rise in more sophisticated attacks affecting more organizations of all sizes, on what will seem, like a daily basis.
2. Cyber Crime as a Service
With the success of cyber crime and the quick money making ability we will see the rise of hackers offering there services for a fee. Mostly what we have seen is these hackers working on their own behalf when attacking organizations. However with how much destruction it can cause one organization we will see the rise of hackers offering to work on a contract basis to help those who may lack the skills to cause this disruption or would like to put some distance between them and the attack. It would not be a stretch to see nation states use outside sources to possibly hack and breach other nation states as part of cyberwarefare.
3. Mobile security will be a priority
More and more people are working from home and on their own device. This leads organizations to make sure that people accessing their network are doing so in a safe and secure fashion. With mobile still being the one of the fastest growing point on entry for breaches organizations will move more of their focus on securing this point. We are seeing more that people are not only utilizing their mobile devices more often but having it as their means of accessing the internet. People are now more willing to shop online via their cellphone, pay their bills using their cellphone and even revealing more of their personal information on their cellphone without fulling understanding the network security they are connected to. People are relying on the website they are accessing via their cellphone to be secure and protecting their information. Also, people are more on the move than in the past making them a moving target for more hackers and making it hard to track exactly where and when a breach happened.
4. IoT security will rise
Iot saw a huge increase in 2016 and that trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. More and more people are using things that are consistently connected to the internet to make their lives easier. From thermostats that know when you are home and not, to door locks that have a camera that are connected to your cellphone, all the way to a medical device that both a patient and doctor can access through an app the IoT is becoming more prevalent in our daily lives and this only means that there are people who are looking to use this to cause chaos and destruction. The organizations who look to be a long lasting player in the IoT market will be the ones who can best secure their products. This will result in more organizations putting time and resources in securing their products.
5. Cyberwarfare will affect our daily lives
Battles are moving from the physical to the cyber. Today most conflicts are being fought from behind a keyboard than a from behind a rifle. Disrupting the daily lives of a country is becoming the best way to disrupt the lives of many which has resulted in more nation states trying to hack and infect large municipalities such as water, energy or transportation. More attacks are being targeted towards infrastructures like this resulting in those being attacked not being able to keep up with and leaving them more vulnerable. We have already seen attacks like these work in the past on a smaller scale but going forward it only seems to be leading towards an attack being successful on a larger scale.
6. The rise of the machines
Artificial Intelligence is becoming smarter on a daily basis. Now we are not at the level we see depicted in sci-fi movies where these machines walk among us but they are getting smarter and more independent than ever before. With the use of bots in organizations becoming more common place, like chatbots who handle basic customer service questions online for organizations, it is leading to more advances in this type of technology. But with these advances comes the drawbacks in how the bots are used. As more things become reliant on continuous internet connection gives these malicious actors the necessary avenue needed and these bots give them the tool they need to successfully breach their target. These bots are becoming harder to differentiate from humans and their interactions with humans are becoming more fluid that it is only a matter of time until these bots seem so human like online that they are able to truly trick humans into believing they are actually interacting with a person within the organization and not a bot being used for devious acts.
7. SMBs turn to MSP for help
As cybercriminals continue to aggressively target small and medium businesses (SMBs) they continue to make network security a high priority. But with small IT teams and rarely any one person who is dedicated to security on staff, and without the resources to configure, monitor or adjust their own security controls, SMBs have started to recognize that their friendly neighborhood managed service provider (MSPs) may be the solution to their security needs.This will lead to MSPs will to add security services to their basic IT offerings. At least a quarter of small businesses will turn to more specialized managed security services providers for their security needs, and this percentage will continue to increase with each passing year.
One thing is for sure that the only thing you can truly count on is that everything will keep changing keeping us all on our toes. 2017 should be another year where we see things we have never seen before and their will be advancements the will change our daily lives.