Information security threats will continue to escalate in 2016, but improved awareness and more investment by enterprises can do much to mitigate the increased risk. Where should businesses focus their efforts and attention? And what organizations will be most at risk in the coming year? Here are some predictions on what to expect in the cyber security space in 2016.
Expect more DDoS and cloud computing attacks
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks will remain a tool of choice for cyber criminals in 2016. We can expect to see more cases of attempted extortion by threat of DDoS, and possibly an increase in hacktivism, where hackers with a political or social agenda use a DDoS attack to draw attention to their cause. Threat intelligence will begin to play a much greater role in defending against these attacks, with the security industry becoming more active in terms of intelligence sharing.
Attacks on the cloud will also grow more serious and widespread in 2016. This will serve as a harsh wake-up call to many organizations, as concern and urgency quickly trickle down from large to midsized businesses. To help protect their critical data and applications, enterprises will demand stricter, more effective cloud controls and security, along with highly secure cloud networking solutions.
Protect SMB and health sector assets
Smaller organizations were previously not as attractive to hackers as they could not provide the wealth of information that might be obtained from a larger enterprise or institution. Today, however, online criminals can extract greater value from stolen data through analytics and by monetizing stolen identities on the Dark Web, a vast and fast-growing cybercrime black market. This puts smaller organizations firmly in the firing line.
The healthcare sector is also rapidly becoming a favorite target of cyber criminals. Medical records and other personal information command a high price on the Dark Web. At the same time, the combination of emerging technology adoption, legacy systems and networks and a reliance on service providers makes the sector more vulnerable.
Prioritize security defenses
The good news is that organizations are beginning to take cyber security much more seriously. There is widespread recognition that the risks to business are on the rise and that the cost to recover from a security incident is high -- and getting higher. And, the impact on brand reputation can be significant. As a result, corporate boards now increasingly prioritize data security and risk management, and we can expect awareness to continue to spread throughout the C-suite as the year progresses.
Following on from this, businesses will spend more on becoming proactive in their security defenses in 2016, and the use of threat intelligence will rise. A key trend this year will be for enterprises to remove organizational silos to help improve security through better communication and interoperation. Accountability for security is increasingly becoming a responsibility that is shared across the enterprise.
While continuous investment in security and security education is now an inevitable part of doing business, managed security will also continue to grow. As threats escalate, we will see these outsourced security services re-prioritized to help guard against more severe attacks.
— Jon Summers, Senior Vice President, Growth Platforms,
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), special to The New IP