The Big Four: 2017 Cyber Security Predictions

Top 4 Cyber Security Predictions for 2017

Cyber security is a consistently growing field, as technology innovates rapidly and hackers become increasingly clever. We’ve seen advancements in hacking and information security at exponential rates over the last few years. With bigger DDoS attacks than ever and entire counties being overrun with ransomware, thinking about the future of cyber-crime and cyber security predictions can seem a daunting task. Here are the four top advancements in cyber-crime/cyber security which I foresee being the biggest new trends in the field.

cyber security predictions

  • Automation

As automation becomes popularized throughout the cyber world, we can expect that it will become increasingly popular within the hacker community as well. There is already a litany of automated hacking tools available. There are SQL injection tools, Wi-Fi hacking tools, remote administration tools, WordPress scanners, password crackers and even social engineering tools available currently. I would expect the amount of available tools to continue to grow. A large concern here is that it makes advanced hacking more available to less knowledgeable hackers. So, if the number of automated hacking tools continue to increase, the number of hackers will also likely increase.

  • IoT

As the internet of things (IoT) are on the rise of popularity, so will be the rise of leveraging smart devices for the purpose of hacking. As of now, there are no regulations and very few guidelines available for developers to utilize when programming and creating these devices. After seeing what the Mirai botnet did to dozens of websites run through Dyn, we can see how IoT can be leveraged for enormous hacks which, at the least, can create a huge inconvenience for thousands. In a report by ForeScout, they predict that by 2018 two thirds of enterprises will experience IoT security breaches. One of the most widely feared types of IoT breaches are the possibility of hackers tampering with tempature controls and destroying critical equipment. If we do not put more effort and attention towards the cybersecurity of IoT, it could lead to critical circumstances.

  • Targeted Attacks

One of the, already, popular cyber-attack tactics is targeted attacks. With targeted attacks, hackers leverage means of going after specific targets through social engineering, spear phishing and other maneuvers. With everyone increasingly sharing their personal information online (via social media, professional networks, etc.) it is getting easier for hackers to find the information they need to target specific people and/or organizations. According to a Trend Micro report from 2014, “…the attackers behind Predator Pain and Limitless, which went after small and medium-sized businesses, were able to earn as much as US$75 million in six months.” Also, targeted attacks tend to among the most challenging for tracking down a sourceWith a combination of increased online sharing and escalating innovations in technology and tools, hackers will be able to execute more and more effective targeted attacks than ever.

  • Machine Learning

Developments in machine learning are on the rise. Everywhere we look there is talk of the rise of the machines and new technologies utilizing machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, etc. every day. Luckily, this development is in cyber security’s favor. There are new technologies slowly coming out which use data mining and machine learning to find vulnerabilities, exploits and attacks much faster than humans. There are technologies which work as virtual analysts as well as technologies which come to know human behavior (such as, this person sends approximately 10 emails per hour) and can quickly recognize when that behavior is askew (that person is now sending 1,000 emails per hour) to identify possible security breaches. With innovations such as these, hopefully we can continue to find the next best way to identify, mitigate and ultimately combat cyber-crime.

While advancements for cyber-criminals are persistently scarier, advancements for cyber security are extremely promising. Staying ahead of the game is crucial for solid cyber security efforts. Looking forward is important in this field as prevention is the only way to combat cyber-attacks in advance. As always, complex passwords, 2 factor authentication, and knowing how do identify phishing emails and malicious links as well as access internet safely from public Wi-Fi networks are all the best first steps at keeping your systems and networks secure.

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