Three Major Digital Security Challenges in 2017

January 13, 2017//Ellen Neveux

Last Updated: June 29, 2018

In 2017, cybercrime is going to deliver serious challenges to business, consumer, federal, and global interests.

During the last quarter of 2016, the website of well-known security blogger, Brian Krebs, was hit with a record-setting DDoS attack. Shortly after, the same malware was used to bring down Dyn, an internet infrastructure provider, taking out access to the internet along the East Coast. By the end of the year, the largest DDoS attack to date hit an internet security firm but, fortunately, failed to take it down.

With no shortage of targets, cybercrime will sink more deeply into vulnerable networks using increasingly sophisticated tools, tactics, and social engineering methods. Just three areas to watch this year include:

  1. Readiness: Assessment of network vulnerabilities, training on cyber hygiene, expert security support, and strong continuity planning are essential for businesses and organizations of all sizes. No company can afford downtime if files are locked by ransomware without a back-up, or your third-party vendor network is infiltrated.
  1. Automation: Advanced algorithms and automated tools provide many advantages but also create many vulnerabilities. Look for the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on both cyber defense and offense in 2017. According to media reports, Amazon Web Services recently acquired machine learning and AI start-up, harvest.ai for $20 million. The company, founded by former employees of the National Security Agency (NSA), uses leading-edge tech to identify threat markers and shut down network attacks before data is breached.  Assume that cybersecurity, and eventually, attacks will shift almost entirely to machines in the future.
  1. Raining in the Cloud: As information and data migrate to the Cloud, so will criminal enterprise. Look for ransomware and increased criminal effort that could impact regions, instead of single Cloud clients. As the Cloud is composed of software and hardware, this year will probably see at least one major Cloud attack with data exfiltration and significant service outages. If you use Cloud storage, consider spreading your digital assets between providers in different locales to offset downtime.

According to IBM Security, the average total cost of a breach is $4 million, which is up 29% since 2013. Your company has a 26 percent chance of being hacked in the next 24 months. With a cyber environment that is sure to get worse before it gets better, be sure you are ready for the future.

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