Cyber-Security predictions for 2017: Part 1

The digital world is constantly evolving: Technologies and trends come and go, businesses adapt and develop and the world continues to charge into the future, one app at a time. But the ebb and flow of technological progress can sometimes feel overwhelming to business owners, and no single area of advancement is met with such a heavy, unified sigh of disdain as the infinite arms-race that is, cyber security.

As specialists in the field, we like to take pride in keeping ourselves in the know as the industry continues to evolve. And as a company praised for its excellent customer service (not meaning to brag, of course) we’d love nothing more than to pass on to you, our predictions for the world of cyber security in the coming year.

 

1) Increasing intelligence in malware

It’s a daunting prospect, isn’t it? An intelligent virus. One that can learn from you and adapt to your behaviour. But just like something straight from a dystopian Sci-fi future – viruses are getting smart.

Typically, malware and viruses operate in a very selective, binary nature. They’re programmed for specific goals, and after they’ve infiltrated a system they either achieve their goal or they don’t, and that’s the end of it.

But now we’re starting to see a rise in smart-malware; software that is capable of operating autonomously. this software is designed to study your system, identify targets and adapt its strategies to avoid detection and achieve its objectives with methods specifically created for your personal system. Software like this is actually based on code that forms the foundations of some artificial intelligence technology.

So in the coming year expect to see a rise in the smart-virus, and hopefully some equally as smart anti-viruses. But what can you actually do about an automated virus that adapts to your behaviour and avoids detection? Well, generally speaking – the longer the virus is in your system, the smarter it gets. So try to find the virus quick and get it removed before it becomes too smart for Norton and the gang.

Companies like Sophos have developed excellent solutions for combating the looming threat of automated cyber-attacks and are worth keeping in mind when future-proofing your systems.

 

2) Manufacturers will be held accountable for security breaches

It seems as though not a month will go by without Yahoo being hacked and losing control of the private information of its users. But if you’re a user in a similar situation, is there anything you can do to seek justice for being let down by a company?

Well in 2017 we expect to see a huge call to action from consumers and businesses for a strict set of guidelines on standards of security, all with the hope that companies can be held accountable when their cyber-security lets down the consumer.

This is an extremely important step to take, it is essential that users have faith in the platforms they are using as the business world continues to move further and further into the digital world.

As cyber-attacks become more sophisticated and an increasing amount of money is shown to be available for hackers, the impact on the tech economy could be catastrophic if IoT (Phones, smart-watches etc.) manufacturers fail to keep up security practices and eventually lose the trust, and importantly the custom, of their users.

One suggestion put forward by security experts in the EU is to attach a sticker to the packaging of the device in question so that consumers are aware of whether the manufacturer they are buying from can to be held accountable and whether they adhere to a very specific set of security guidelines. A similar system already exists in the enterprise world, but we expect to see the idea of accountability developed in branches of the consumer industry.

 

3) Fighting the cyber-skills gap

One fundamental lesson learned in the last few years is that businesses need to get online or they risk dying out. Setting up networks, establishing web presence and getting a secure foothold in the digital economy are all necessary steps a business now has to take if they wish to succeed in 2017.

And what this necessity has illuminated the most, is that the growing demand for required cyber skills is simply not being met. What we are finding is that the need for cyber-security is often not being matched by the rate of internal IT training and skills in organisations, and so a massive divide is starting to form being the attack and the defense.

Countless organisations who now feel compelled to participate in the digital economy are doing so with huge security risks, opening themselves up to attackers who wish to gain from their mistakes. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that cyber-security needs to be taken seriously, and a simple antivirus is no longer going to be enough for businesses in 2017.

We predict in 2017 that industry-savvy businesses will now turn to consultancies and external companies for their security. These companies, much like ourselves, specialise in guiding businesses through the minefield of cyber-security and ensure that they are fully equipped to take on the digital world in 2017 without falling victim to the many pitfalls of cyber security by taking steps such as:

– Implementing secure networks in the workplace for companies to operate on.

Designing security strategies to a specific companies needs and matching the demands of the evolving cyber security industry.

– Simplifying the control of security options whether they are based on a local network or through a cloud service.

– Enabling a more strategic approach in cyber-security to combat to full range of security risks in 2017.

To talk to one of our experts and see if your business is Cyber-secure for 2017, call us on 01482 420 373, send us an email at info@hbpsystems.co.uk or fill out a contact form.