What’s new in Cyber Security in 2016

09 February 2016

Amethyst’s Kevin Sloan predicts some headlines in Cyber-Security over the coming year


  • As ever, the continuing evolution of computing end points grows ever more diverse. Areas of special concern include:


    • Internet of Things: new gadgets (appliances, wearable tech and automotive) can be expected to have embedded network capable processors. How will these be protected to ensure they can’t be pwned by hackers? Avoiding the mistakes of the past, ensuring security is considered up front and encouraging OEMs to adopt “secure by default” to product development needs to be a priority.


    • Industrial Control Systems: there is a growing tendency of industry and utilities to blend business and control systems, with the consequence that older SCADA and programmable logic controllers become net reachable. Expect a flow down of best practice from the critical national infrastructure best practice on industrial control system security to wider industry.


  • Online Social Networks: continued scandals concerning how vendors are exploiting private information; shift towards further monetisation of that data and perhaps new means of fraud via OSN payment features.


  • The Information Security Breaches Survey 2016 can be expected in the summer. This will provide an incremental snapshot to the cyber threats to business. We can expect:


    • Continuance of big losses associated with data breaches and IPR theft. Monetisation of stolen data by resale and cyber extortion.


    • Increasing trend in sophistication and targeting of attacks, broadening of previous generation attack techniques made available to the unskilled attackers via “Exploit as a Service” available on the deep web; consequently SMEs can also expect to be targeted.


  • More cross-border attacks and shifting safe-havens for cyber criminals (“balkanisation” of the Internet), cyber-attacks in conflict zones, possible take-up by terrorist organisations like ISIS.


  • Feedback on the security of cloud based services, the rollout of which has been growing exponentially.


  • New cyber-defences can be expected:


    • Intelligence based tools and predictive algorithms to assist in focusing of cyber-defences.


    • Identity automation: greater use of biometrics and less reliance upon passwords for security.


  • The key issues will be the same and exacerbated:


    • Cyber skills shortages: increasing difficulty for organisations to maintain their own CISO functions, more reliance upon outsourcing, increasing demand for the professionalisation of cyber security experts.


    • Zero liability services: standard terms and conditions for cloud services can leave security liabilities in the customers’ lap.


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