The year 2018 will bring more connectivity, digital transformation initiatives, and data to companies, along with a number of new cybersecurity threats and landscape changes. Biggest areas that require extra attention are cloud computing and the internet of things, or IoT. The IoT includes the growing list of connected devices like smart thermostats, smart aquariums and smart light bulbs. Such electronics often come with security vulnerabilities that leave networks open to exploitation from hackers. For instance, hackers discovered a man-in-the-middle vulnerability in a smart refrigerator back in 2015 that granted them access to users’ gmail accounts.
Once an IoT device gets synced with a laptop, smartphone or tablet, all of the data on those machines can be compromised. Unfortunately, many of the IoT devices being manufactured today rely on cheap electronics that are incapable of supporting the security protocols that have become standard in other mobile devices. Even if a product is designed to meet the latest security standards, most IoT devices aren’t set up to receive automatic updates, so they remain vulnerable to new types of malware.
Cybercriminals will use ransomware to shut down point of sale systems. Many merchants have updated their payment systems to use end-to-end encryption and prevent criminals from obtaining credit card data from point of sale (POS) systems. This has led criminals to turn to ransomware as a means of monetizing an attack, as opposed to stealing and selling data.
Cyber terrorism also poses a threat to all humanity since successful attacks on power grids could have deadly consequences if hospitals, subways and other public services get disrupted.
IT security skills are already in high demand, and the need for new IT professionals will continue to increase with the digital transformation. Unfortunately, there may not be enough talent to fill all of the new job openings. Various reports estimate that up to 3.5 million IT security jobs will be unfilled in 2021 due to a severe talent shortage.
Government agencies and business leaders must partner together to recruit more young IT professionals, and universities will need to expand their curricula as data governance and AI technologies become more embedded into the fabric of society. Rather than maintaining a defensive approach to cyber security, the IT teams of the future could use artificial intelligence to predict threats before they arise. So there will be more application of Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in threat detection.