The future of cybersecurity: 3 trends every director should understand
Stanisław Lem, when asked how he imagined the future, gave a short answer, “It will be the same, just more.” These brief words very accurately summarize the key trends in the IT and cybersecurity development. In the end, using a paraphrased quote from Stanisław Lem, one can say that, “We hadn't known there were so many criminals in the world, until we started using the internet.”
Global security experts almost unanimously predict that the coming years will bring, first and foremost, an increase in the number of solutions that streamline communication and data exchange not only between users, but also between devices and objects of daily use.
The incremental quantitative growth will lead to a qualitative change in the nature of work for people who are responsible for developing and implementing solutions that enhance cybersecurity. As far as IT departments are concerned, that means a total shift from activities related to the maintenance and development of systems and infrastructure, to efforts aimed at preventing security incidents. This will also be reflected in the way IT budgets are structured.
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According to experts, the percentage of spending on such activities will increase from the current 10% to 75% in 2020. In practice, this means that companies will face a constant pressure connected with cybersecurity breaches.
Therefore, it is useful to familiarize yourself with the most important trends that will shape IT security in business in the coming years and prepare for the changes they will bring.
The Internet of (all) Things and new dimension of cybersecurity
The most important change that may completely transform cybersecurity in business will undoubtedly be connected with the increasing popularity of solutions that enable communication between devices.Analyst firm IDC forecasts that in 2020, as many as 200 billion of various devices (40 times more than today) will be connected to the internet. Many of them will have limited computing power, which is insufficient for the installation of traditional antivirus software. In this situation, the security of such devices will be based entirely on a strict adherence to the procedures (password change, physical control).
One of the main risks that have already been identified in connection with this trend, is using the vulnerabilities of the IP protocol that enables communication between devices. Already in 2014, two US store chains fell victims to such problems as hackers stole credit card and personal data of 110 million customers! The intrusion was made with the use of POS terminals that feature the same components as computers (processor, RAM).
Cybercrime on the rise
As technology continues to develop, we may expect an increase in the scale of activity and degree of specialization shown by cybercriminals. For at least 15 years, security experts have been observing gradual professionalization of cybercriminals, while their crimes have become increasingly complex.
The growing specialization of cybercriminals has led to the emergence of Cybercrime as a Service provider market. A simple intrusion or security breach can be ordered in a selected company for as little as $100 by means of the so-called hidden internet. This trend will continue to grow, leading to a situation where companies, no matter their size, will have to fight off threats resulting from potential security breaches on a daily basis.
New mobile threats
For a few years now, the number of incidents that involve compromising mobile device security has been growing. In 2013, approximately 15% of the global internet traffic was generated by mobile devices, which encourages organized groups of cybercriminals to develop malicious applications. The above-mentioned share will be growing fast in the coming years, this happening also because of the increasing availability of cheap devices in developing countries and the development of new data transmission technologies.
Mobile devices and applications are particularly attractive for cybercriminals due to the fact that their equipment and software leave plenty of opportunities to steal not only data, but also money. A series of technology, economic, demographic and social factors will lead to the development of an entirely new class of threats related to mobile technologies. Wireless internet, the most important invention of the last two decades, has quickly, within 1-2 years, become one of the major sources of threats to its users. It can be expected that the same will happen with every subsequent innovation in mobile communications.
The common feature of all future threats is their inevitability. However, it does not justify adopting a passive attitude. This is why you should start preparing for the increasing popularity of the above-mentioned trends and investing in the development of flexible security policies and systems.