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2016: Cyber Predictions

January 2016 by Colin Tankard, Managing Director of digital security company Digital Pathways

2015 saw a record level of cyber attacks, of all kinds, ensuring that the issue of cyber security will remain firmly at the top of many Boards agendas. Colin Tankard, Managing Director of digital security company Digital Pathways, outlines his predictions for 2016 when it comes to new or increased threats to look out for.

1. There will be more IoT devices released into the ‘wild’ with poor security. This has been highlighted recently with the ‘Hello Kitty’ hack just before Christmas.

2. More network vendors are going to find their equipment compromised including building service systems such as HVAC.

3. Application microvisors are going to become a common element on the desktop, sandboxing applications better. The threat landscape has changed. Breaches occur at an alarming pace and the first point of entry is the endpoint. Legacy detection-based defences, such as antivirus, are simply not enough to stop dynamic, modern cyber attacks.

4. Legislation, such as The Regulatory Powers Act, will get tighter when dealing with personal data and PCI will ‘raise its head’ especially at the SME level.

5. I see larger fines – perhaps up to £1million - for data breaches come into force from the Data Commissioners Office.

6. We will continue to have no criminal penalties for unethical data handling. Nor will company directors face prosecution unlike Health & Safety regulations.

7. End to end encryption, without legislative access, will be a huge argument and, ultimately, will be forced in place leading to greater use of the Dark Web.

8. E-Wallets/Mobile Wallets will become the next generation for payments and, as a result, we will see an increase in targeted attacks on Smart devices.

9. Companies will start to introduce air-gapped networks due to the cost of maintaining multiple Firewalls and the constant risk of poor policy rules which leave open ports. This will force organisations to consider better access controls to servers and even introduce cloaking technology to hide their digital attack surface.

10. But, will there be less action on dating websites following the various cyber-attacks made on them? I don’t think so! The power of possible love beats any worry about loss of credentials.

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