What are the challenges facing cyber security in 2018?
These will involve the development of existing threat vectors and the emergence of new ones, keeping up with the evolving capabilities of hackers will never be more difficult to repel and prevent.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
This presents a major challenge to all organisations with time marching towards the 25th May deadline. Many businesses in the SME space are behind the curve in their preparations for this and will do well to meet this deadline. If missed they will face the wrath of the ICO and possible fines for non-compliance.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI and machine learning is now available to hackers to conduct cyber attacks providing a challenging new cyber threat landscape that will need to be navigated. Machine learning will also be used for the good as it can assist the cyber security sector in analysing and monitoring new and existing threats.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT theat is likely to develop further with possible focus on critical infrastructures and home devices. With it now being possible to purchase botnet kits on the dark web it is becoming easier to set up DDoS attacks.
State Sponsored Cyber Attacks
These do not look they will be alleviating any time soon and are likely to grow eminating from countries that look to install government instalibility or to carry out cyber espionage.
Ransomware will continue to be a major cyber security threat with new strains being developed by hackers focusing on businesses that have immature cyber risk management.
The threat of mobile breaches is still very much with us and this could be the year that a substantial breach occurs. This could happen via a vulnerability in an app which may itself contain considerable amounts of data that a hacker could gain access to for ill gains.
Bitcoin and Blockchain
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency made the headlines at the end of last year with its value increasing by leaps and bounds before coming back down to a more sensible valuation. Blockchain is not very well understood , but is now recognized as method in which fraud can be prevented and will gain in popularity as it becomes more mainstream.
Trust is emerging as a side issue in the development of cyber security. Trust that business are safe to trade with and that in the event of a data breach they will act in an honorable fashion and in the best interests of their employees and shareholders. This will impact on future trading and the reputation of a business.
What Will Cyber Criminals focus on?
- Supply Chain
Cyber threats are being targeted on supply chains as their computer systems do not always have the same standard of cyber security as the main contractor this presenting oportinuties for hackers to exploit inferior systems as a gateway to compromising the main contractors systems. This is likely to continue.
- The Healthcare Sector
This sector has always been a principal focus for hackers as the stolen data can be used for a number of things.With the standard of cyber security not being considered the most robust this presents this sector as being vulnerable to hackers.
The general immaturity of SME’s computer systems and lack of cyber risk management makes them a prime target for hackers . The mentality of “ it won’t happen to us “ does not hold true and is a dangerous game to play.
Adequate levels of cyber security risk management and the emergence of cyber insurance will play an important part in managing a cyber attack on a businesses’s computer systems. The challenges that lay ahead in the coming year will be huge and defending a business against such a varied threat landscape will be demanding.
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