Published on January 11th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
The State of Cybersecurity Looking Forward
Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field that demands more and more attention from individuals as it evolves. With the rapid advancement of technology and its integration into our daily lives, the amount of businesses and individuals jumping on the digital-data-storage bandwagon is increasing at an alarming rate. Subsequently, there is a vast amount of valuable information and data up for grabs, resulting in an increased prevalence of cyberattacks. Even with companies implementing new cybersecurity measures, cybercriminals are quick to catch on and utilize workarounds — optimizing their own strategies as they learn to compromise even the most recent security protocols.
To stay ahead of the game, cybersecurity professionals need to be constantly developing new solutions to continuously secure digital data. With this back-and-forth between cybersecurity professionals and cybercriminals, the nature of the cybersecurity industry becomes one that is forever growing and changing. It then becomes our responsibility, as individuals and businesses with critical data at stake, to keep a close eye on this ever-evolving beast. Thus, it is essential to be aware of any new developments in the world of cybersecurity, so that you can always remain one step ahead of cybercriminals and protect your assets.
What’s the Big Issue?
It seems the first major obstacle in terms of cybersecurity is the issue of nonchalance. Despite the fact that cybercrime is more prevalent than ever, many individuals and businesses seem content to leave their data unguarded. In fact, research by A.T. Kearney shows that 37% of companies in ASEAN countries (prime targets for cyberattacks) hadn’t considered or created a cybersecurity strategy at all, while a further 24% considered a strategy but failed to implement it.
The major cause of this problematic “lax attitude” is the misconception that cybercriminals only “exist in the movies,” and that cybercrime is not an imminent threat. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth, as cybercrime is an evident reality of today — one you need to protect yourself from. To do so, you need to first be aware of current developments in the fields of cybercrime and cybersecurity.
While cybersecurity is a vast area, there are certain “hot topics,” as predicted by the FBI, that rank high as potential exploits for the years to come. These include ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC), hacking/server attacks, and tech support fraud. Knowing this type of information will help you stay on the ball, and be particularly vigilant about these aspects of cybercrime.
Other major technology trends that will significantly impact the future of cybersecurity include artificial intelligence (AI), cloud platforms, crypto-jacking, operationalizing GDPR, and the internet of things (IoT). Here, we will delve into two trends that are becoming increasingly common and pose a major risk to cybersecurity: the IoT and insider threats.
The IoT is made up of every single device that is connected to the internet. This is a global network of devices that continues to grow on a daily basis. With every new device connected, a new entry point for hackers is created. Within the IoT, there are also smaller networks that have been created to optimize efficiency from a business standpoint, called the industrial internet of things (IIoT).
The IIoT is a system of interconnected devices that can be controlled and monitored by employees. The IIoT makes things like smart buildings, predictive maintenance, and remote asset control easily possible, improving business convenience and operations. On the flip side, the IIoT comes with a high level of risk, mainly due to cybercrime. This system provides cybercriminals with a plethora of entry points into a company’s network. In turn, cybercriminals can easily access all of a company’s data, with the power to completely cripple a company.
When considering cybercrime, most people expect attacks to come from external sources, and so structure their security strategy accordingly. However, focusing only on outside threats tends to distract one from considering threats in one’s own camp. This is a fatal oversight, as cybersecurity attacks that originate from within an organization have the potential to do the most damage. In order to prevent yourself from being blindsided by those closest to you, it is vital that you instill cybersecurity protocols to guard against insider threats.
Insider threats can be difficult to deal with, as you need to allow your employees a certain level of access and trust so that they can do what they need to do. Protecting yourself against insider threats requires more effort than just technical cybersecurity measures. Indirect initiatives like improving employee training and maintaining a happy workforce can actually go a long way in protecting your company’s assets from disgruntled employees who are looking for revenge. Additionally, employees should be trained on how to safely handle sensitive data, and be made aware of appropriate safety measures to implement in BYOD scenarios.
These are just two of the top trends in cybersecurity and cybercrime today, that can completely wreak havoc on your business. With this in mind, you need to take the appropriate steps to protect your data, sooner rather than later.
In this regard, the first step would be accepting the fact that cyberattacks pose a very real danger to your business. This infographic makes for a great starting point in terms of cybersecurity education, detailing important facts and figures about cybercrime and safety.
Once you’ve gained a basic understanding of what cybercriminals have been capable of in the past, the next step entails “keeping up with the criminals.” This means staying up to date about the worldwide impact of cyberattacks, and understanding current cybercrime tactics such as the ones listed above.
Secondly, it is prudent to hire a set of reliable professionals — from system administrators and information security analysts to network engineers — who are constantly working to protect your company’s data. One way to make sure that your cybersecurity team is properly equipped to prevent attacks is to ensure they have received comprehensive and relevant cybersecurity training. CompTIA offers a foundational cybersecurity certification, which according to HackRead is “the main security certification for IT experts to procure.” This certification provides professionals with knowledge of threat management, cryptography, and network access control.
There are also industry-specific cybersecurity courses and certifications available, that provide relevant and more focused insight into preventing cybercrime. Insist that your cybersecurity team is up to date on the most effective cybersecurity certifications, and encourage them to engage in ongoing learning to stay current.
Today, technology has become increasingly ingrained into the fabric of our lives. It is no longer a suggestion but a requirement that we safeguard ourselves from the security risks that accompany technology’s relentless evolution. Thus, it is more important than ever that your cybersecurity strategy remains in tow with the innovative tactics of cybercriminals to effectively guard yourself against becoming a victim of cybercrime.