The Most Unnerving Security Trends to Prepare for in 2017

January 16, 2017
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2 min read

Security has become a top line item of discussion in enterprises around the globe. The ever-widening variety of attacks has made it difficult for companies to protect their assets. 2017 is sure to present security professionals with new challenges as they encounter attacks subtler and more damaging then we’ve seen in the past.

Predicting Six Security Trends for 2017

Here are six security trends that demand close attention this year.

1. Data Manipulation

We’ve all heard stories about school kids sneaking into the teacher’s office and changing their grades to increase their chances of graduating. But the stakes for data manipulation have risen with the influx of sophisticated breaches that aim to sabotage data rather than steal or destroy it. Changes in financial records can affect stock prices and corporate plans. A well-coordinated execution can yield financial dividends far greater than the sale of data records.

2. IT Skills Shortage

According to Forbes, there were 1 million cybersecurity job openings in 2016. Cybersecurity has become a popular career path due to this unending demand, but the need for skilled workers is immediate. New graduates are unlikely to have the necessary experience to combat seasoned and dedicated teams of cybercriminals.

3. Cybercriminal Sophistication

Cybercriminals have advantages over IT guardians because they are not limited to a particular industry or technology, or subject to deadlines. They have freedom to improve their skills without fear of failure — if an attack flops, they can simply try again on another target, develop their skills incrementally and then share their experiences with other budding fraudsters.

4. IoT Backlash

Consumers and enterprises are using Internet of Things (IoT) devices for everything from home monitoring to industrial control. Security of these devices has historically taken a back seat to development and deployment activity. But the recent lawsuit by the FTC against network equipment manufacturer D-Link shines new light on the importance of devoting attention to IoT security.

The FTC issued advice for IoT device manufacturers, but there are already millions of vulnerable units deployed that may never receive updated software to guard against unauthorized use.

5. Voiced Concerns About Voice Control

Smartphones, smartwatches and convenience devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home listen to conversations continuously and respond to keywords. This constant listening and recording leaves digital trails. We are only beginning to understand the legal issues involved in this. The rules and ethics surrounding these captured conversations will be hotly debated in the enterprise and beyond.

6. Complexity Leads to Vulnerability

Modern IT systems have become highly complex, including technologies ranging from legacy computing platforms to networked mobile devices, each of which has its own vulnerabilities. But as businesses strive for full digital transformation, their systems are increasingly connected. This hyperconnectivity can leave unanticipated openings for cyberattacks.

Stay Ahead of Threats in 2017

Chief information officers (CIOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) need to be aware of these emerging issues and take precautions to protect their enterprises from the growing list of threats. There are systems that can help, but a good security posture always starts with awareness and vigilance.

Scott Koegler
Freelance Writer and Former CIO

Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software ...
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