2016 is a little more than halfway over, which makes it the perfect time to take stock of the year’s foremost Information Security Trends. Many made detailed predictions about what to look out for at the end of last year, and in most cases, these predictions have turned out to be eerily accurate.
The information security threats that are currently trending have a lot to do with the increasing interconnectivity of technology within our daily lives. As such, these threats, like the ones listed below, need to be taken very seriously. As consumers come to rely on technology more and more, they become more and more vulnerable to security breaches, and thus need to be exceedingly vigilant.
Furthermore, as a leading IT company in the Puget Sound region – having dutifully provided our services to those in Tacoma, Federal way, Seattle, and Bellevue, WA since 2003 – we at Spyder Web Communications know how important it is for businesses to stay on top of these trends. A businesses that fails to do so could lose both revenue and reputation. It’s important to stay aware! Here are the top 5 information security trends of 2016-
1. Vulnerabilities with The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a concise and catchy category used to group together internet enabled devices and appliances – those that use the cloud to connect and communicate with one another in order to better the lives of their users. Things like Smart Thermostats, Wifi enabled lights, and other automated aspects of your home are just as vulnerable as any other internet enabled device. The problem is that The Internet of Things deals with appliances that control physical aspects of your space, which means that if their security is compromised, it could result in real danger for a consumer.
Interest in connecting home appliances to the Internet seems to be increasing, even though consumers are increasingly aware of these security threats. In fact, Smart-home device shipments are expected to increase at an yearly rate of 67 percent over the next five years, faster than that of tablets or smartphones.
Ranging from mildly annoying to seriously disabling, and in some cases, downright dangerous, RansomWare is a kind of malware that blocks access to your files until you pay a fee. It first hit the US in 2013, but it has since become a widespread problem that many are encountering. We recently did a blog post on the best ways to avoid the dangers of RansomWare, which you should definitely check out.
The Current estimate of the damage caused by RansomWare is up to $325 Million according to the Cyber Threat Alliance. That’s up 1800 percent since the FBI’s report from just a year ago. A RansomWare threat will typically rear its ugly head if you click a the wrong link in the wrong email. False links in spam emails can penetrate your machine or your network and begin encrypting your files with a nearly unbreakable code. If your systems are not backed up, your data will be held hostage. The FBI currently recommends that you pay the ransom, which indicates how little they’re able to do about it, which makes it seem like a worthwhile option in the eyes of hackers.
3. Cloud MalWare
Did you know that, on average, the typical business or organization utilizes nearly 600 discrete, user-enabled, third-party cloud applications within their day to day operations. As such, it is simply a matter of time until the cloud becomes the next main target of malware. Malware that targets cloud-based technology can compromise the computing power of the cloud, infrastructure, apps and data. A major security breach to the cloud could have a ripple effect on many different software platforms, as these different systems are becoming increasingly inter-reliant on one another.
As we’ve seen in certain, highly publicized hacks, it only takes a single account breach to compromise an entire system and severely damage reputation and revenue, which is why both businesses and individuals need to be on top of their cloud security.
4. Large Corporations are leaning too heavily on Big Data
As we’ve heard left and right, there are a ton of problems with Big Data. That being said, we understand the allure and we know it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking Big Data is the key to every last insight. While the insights are valuable, a major trend of 2016 has shown that organizations are leaning far too heavily on Big Data for help with decision making.
The problem isn’t with Big Data in and of itself – the problem is what people do with it. To be sure, large samples of data are just that – data. They provide no meaningful correlations or actionable strategies – that’s up to the analysts.
Big Data is nothing more than a tool – and a sporadically useful one at that. Remember Google Flu Trends? In 2009, Google claimed that by analyzing flu-related search queries, it could track the spread of the flu more quickly than the CDC. Fast Forward a few years, where Google Flu has made more bad predictions than good ones, and you’ll get an idea of how much Big Data is overhyped.
5. Geopolitical Events
Lastly, large-scale Geopolitical Events have a major influence on emerging information security threats. Strife in the Middle East, terrorist attacks, climate change – they all play out on the world stage creating more contention between nations, which leads to more information security breaches across all fronts.
For this reason, the geopolitical aspect of information security is becoming more and more important. For example, relations between the US, Russia, and China continues to escalate. China allegedly demands that vendors provide backdoors to sites and apps, which is creating a major division among American manufacturers and developers.
A major factor in the current US presidential election concerns information security. Hillary Clinton is under heavy scrutiny for having her own, loosely secure, email server. And Donald Trump is coming under similar fire for calling on Russians to hack the US to aid his candidacy. If the trend from this year continues, and Geopolitical figures increasingly rely on Information technologies without proper security, stores like these will only become more common.
There you have it! Those are the Top 5 Information Security Trends of 2016 as told by SpyderWeb Communications! Were you already aware of these? Is your business doing everything it can to protect itself against cloud-based malware or other emerging threats?
If not, and you or your business needs help with informational security, visit our website. SpyderWeb Communications is a leading IT company in the Puget Sound region – having dutifully provided our services to those in Tacoma, Federal way, Seattle, and Bellevue, WA since 2003. If you need assistance with any aspect of your businesses Information Technology, please get in touch!