Cyber Security Predictions for 2016

For many in the cyber security spectrum, 2015 was considered ‘The Year of the Hack’. A record number of attacks, of all varieties and levels of viciousness, were undertaken last year, bringing digital security and online protection to the forefront of both people’s minds, and the media’s attention. Many companies will feel that they have now caught up again, and feel safe from potential hacks. This is though, in reality, a false security. Whilst businesses have been playing catch-up, criminals have been evolving their own methods, and will always be looking to find that advantage that keeps them one step ahead in the game.

When it comes to security risks, prevention is a much more effective strategy than reaction. If, as a business owner, or even individual, you are able to get ahead of the curve, and anticipate potential threats, as well as what measures can be taken to avoid them, it can prove the difference between safety and disaster.

Below are the Digital Pathways ‘Cyber Security Predictions for 2016’. We will be covering each of them in more detail over the course of the next few weeks and months, to give each and every reader the chance to put in place prevention methods now, as opposed to react to damage later down the line.

  1. Increased IoT Devices

The Internet of Things is not going away. Over the next 12 months, hundreds of thousands of IoT devices will be released into the market. This is an inevitability. The poor security in these devices will make them vulnerable, with data breaches similar to that of the ‘Hello Kitty’ attacks at the end of last year likely to become an even more frequent occurrence.

  1. Application Microvisors

One positive note is the likelihood that more Application Microvisors will be added to desktops over the coming months too. With the threat landscape having changed, breaches are becoming more and more frequent. With antivirus unable to stand up to the threat, it is Microvisors that will look to isolate user tasks, creating a secure environment that prevents the immediate spread of viruses.

  1. Larger Fines Are Coming

 Large fines, perhaps even to the tune of up to £1 million, for data breaches look likely to come into force. With more power being awarded to the authorities, it seems only a matter of time before large fines are common place for companies who refuse to adequately protect their customer’s data.

  1. Mobile Wallet Increase

 The next generation of payments is already upon us. E-Wallets, or Mobile Wallets, are already in circulation across the globe, with consumer’s requiring nothing more than a smart phone to pay for their goods. This advancement can only mean an increase in targeted smart device attacks, as hackers look to manipulate this latest form to their own ends.

  1. End-to-End Encryption

End-to-End encryption, without legislative access, will create a huge argument over the next 12 months, and, ultimately, will be something that is forcibly introduced. This introduction, as opposed to helping prevent crime, will instead lead to greater use of the Dark Web, and create a more harmful browsing experience for all.

  1. Air-Gapped Networks

 Companies will start to introduce air-gapped networks into their organisations, in part due to the costs of maintaining multiple Firewalls, and also because of 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.

2016 is going to be an incredibly illuminating year for the cyber security industry. Will people learn from the mistakes of the preceding 12 months, and realise that the regular hacking scandals are a risk we all face, or will they continue to brush the news away and continue along their less secure route. Obviously we hope for the former, but will be on hand to help any company who requires our help, whether that be for prevention, or, more damaging, reaction.

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