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What You Need to Know About Cyber Security in 2017on 27 February 2017Posted by Spencer Abel
Recent hacks to Twitter and Spotify have put many of us on our toes. The who’s who list of recently hacked companies is growing more rapidly with every year. With hackers clicking away without any restraint governments are having a hard time keeping up with the flux of illicit online behaviour.
With the relative absence of cyber police patrolling the web it’s time that you take action into your own hands. But to know how to protect yourself you must first learn the dark arts of hacking. Here are some of the major cyber threats on the horizon.
Remember the good old days when someone would take a belonging or yours and ask for a few pounds to get it back? Nowadays hackers are taking data hostage and asking that victims deposit money (typically bitcoins) into an account in a certain number of hours in order to get their sensitive information back. Hitesh Sheth, CEO of Vectra muses on ransomware, “Because it provides the fastest way for an attacker to monetise an attack, through untraceable Bitcoin, ransomware attacks will grow more intelligent by targeting high-value digital assets, including surveillance cameras, phone systems, security systems, and other business IoT devices.” One of the ways that companies and individuals can fend off nosy hackers is by using online collaboration software that encrypts data.
The natural response to being attacked is to bolster one’s defence. The issue with the uniqueness and consistency of hacks is that a team of highly skilled counter-hackers is not always enough to combat dark net thieves. While IT teams will surely expand, they’ll also be arming themselves with new security technology. While nothing too sophisticated has hit the market, companies clearly have a void that needs to be filled. Sheth thinks that “With the hyper growth in the attack surface and threat landscape – and constrained by limited security analyst resources and capabilities – enterprises will augment their teams with artificial intelligence to automate the detection and response to security incidents.”
A New Form of Espionage
The security attacks on the U.S. government this past year have brought state-direct cyber-attacks into the spotlight. Even just a few years ago we imagined hackers to be pimpled-faced teenagers clicking away in the depths of their parents’ basement (or some other, equally picked-on demographic). However, in a few short years this image has dramatically become more sophisticated. Lone wolf hackers have now teamed up to work towards a common goal. Cyber warfare is now a tactic being carried out by big government. If governments now have this in their arsenal, expect other groups to pop up around the world that have insidious hacking goals in mind. Adam Vincent, CEO of ThreatConnect believes this will be one of the prevailing trends of 2017, “We will see an increasingly vocal response from Western governments to escalating Russian hacking activity as we begin to move towards more codified rules of cyber-engagement. 2017 will still be a period of unfettered hacking activity, however, as state actors use aliases to mask their involvement.” Look out, the drama has only just begun.
Encryption on Encryption
End-to-end encryption is currently what provides the most secure online data, whether for startups or major multinationals. However, in the coming year everyone will be getting an upgrade. Matt Little, VP of Product Development at PKWARE, thinks the call will come from, “The culmination of quantum computing, which is currently looming on the horizon, will cause the long anticipated crypto-apocalypse.” He also has acknowledged that the governments around the world have left cyber security regulations largely untouched. This year we should expect governments to step in and create general data protection regulations that certain companies will be required to abide by.
A Proper Education
Both those who seek to strap on regulations regarding cyber security and leading tech advisors don’t have a thorough grasp on encryption technology. According to a PKWARE survey, almost a quarter of senior tech decision-makers in the UK don’t understand encryption. If one of the most popular forms of data protection isn’t fully comprehended, it’s to be inferred that many other leading cyber security technologies are flying over the heads of companies’ security mavens. The people using these technologies must first have an idea the technologies if they want to get the most out of them.
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