It's safe to say 2017 has been full of activity in the world of cybersecurity. What about 2018? Will there be an increase in cyber attacks? New and more sophisticated methods of attack? What about even more devastating data breach impacts? The answer is probably all of the above. There are countless predictions out there and we all THINK we have a hunch, but nevertheless it's hard to gage what will happen, until it happens. Here are three general predictions that I've gathered...
1. New Year New Regulations
The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into full-effect May 2018. While survey data varies, it’s transparent that many companies around the world are not quite ready. Given the enormous potential fines for noncompliance, companies will scramble last minute. Unfortunately, those expecting to hire consultants to help might find such resources are already booked solid.
2. Absent-minded Employees
Companies seem to lean more towards focusing on external threats from cyber criminals, but your own employees are more likely to cause a breach – often by accidentally mismanaging data or acting negligently. This is a HUGE threat that will continue in 2018, because most companies don’t take insider risks seriously.
3. Internet of (Insecure) Things
With Google Home and Alexa becoming hot ticket items this holiday season, it’s only a matter of time before every house on your block is connected with IoT. While this provides an insane level of convenience, it also makes stealing your personal information and gaining access to your home a piece-of-cake for hackers. Likewise, with the medical industry getting in on the IoT trend, patient records and medical information could be targeted more in 2018. It's simple: as the potential attack surface expands with the growth of IoT device usage, attacks on compromised IoT devices will continue to increase!
Whatever does happen in the cybersecurity realm in the new year, it’s likely to be just as chaotic as what was exhibited in 2017. Digilance will go a long way, but heightened security awareness is the best — and, perchance, the only — protection against emerging threats that we can begin to imagine today.
I'll leave you with a quote from one of our great leaders that may give you an ounce of hope come January 1st. Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”