Data Security Trends for 2017
If you’re in business today, you likely have critical data being stored, accessed and shared for one reason or another. And that means you have a bull’s eye on your back -- one at which cyber criminals intend to take aim. As the advancement of cybercrime and technology intensifies, so must your efforts to protect your organization’s data.
Make no mistake: You don’t have to be a giant enterprise to be targeted by hackers. In fact, more and more small and medium-sized businesses are falling prey to malicious intruders because these companies are not well prepared for an attack. You can’t afford to become a victim. Get informed on the following data security trends emerging this year, and educate your company on how to safeguard its data with effective solutions.
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New IoT Vulnerabilities Emerge
The distinction between where connectivity begins and ends has become rather blurred with the emergence of the Internet of Things. IoT devices now take countless forms and have begun to permeate the workplace. While this trend is apt to mean a sizable boost in business productivity, it also comes with a brand-new set of vulnerabilities.
Perhaps the greatest threat is the fact that although many IoT devices are full computers in their own right, they are not typically protected in the same way that traditional company computers are. That means they open up your business and your data to costly security dangers.
Cloud-Based Providers Proliferate
There’s no denying the accessibility and productivity benefits that cloud services bring to the business table, not to mention the savings and scalability advantages they offer. So in 2017, we’re likely to see a surge in cloud-based providers.
Unfortunately, the cloud poses its own set of data security risks, and not every provider is properly equipped to protect your organization. As employees use various devices to manage files and information in the cloud, these users could be endangering the security of your critical data. And as adoption of the cloud becomes more widespread, so will the efforts of attackers to penetrate it. Now more than ever, it is essential that you opt for a cloud-based provider that places a strong emphasis on data security.
Security Skills Are More in Demand
The hacking community is only growing more abundant, more intelligent, more skilled and more evolved. It’s no wonder the business community is finding it difficult to keep up. The new year is poised to see new job opportunities materialize for security professionals -- those responsible for ensuring that a company’s data is well protected from the threat of a security breach.
Defending against cybercriminal activity is a complex task, one that requires a significant amount of knowledge and experience. There will be a greater need for individuals who are skilled at not just alleviating vulnerabilities, but also proactively preventing them.
Attackers Return to DDos and Adopt Ransomware as a Service
“Propelled by the rise of IoT, the popularity of denial-of-service attacks rebounded in late 2016 and early 2017. Accompanying the rapid acceleration of the IoT and connected device market, warn cybersecurity experts, will be a zombie botnet swarm of network-crippling attacks.” (TechRepublic)
In addition to this dangerous resurfacing of DDoS attacks will be the advent of RaaS, used by less skilled hackers to claim their share of the ransomware pot. Both of these strains of malicious intrusion will threaten businesses in 2017.
Businesses Insure Their Cybersecurity
The truth is cybercrime will continue to happen, and in some scenarios, it will be unavoidable. If a data breach occurs at your organization, what kind of repercussions are you likely to experience? Could an attack devastate the entire company and put you out of business? It’s happening more and more these days, and the odds are not in your favor.
The solution in 2017 seems to be cybersecurity insurance. Many organizations are turning to this option to protect their financial interests should a catastrophic breach bring the business to a halt or incur an unexpected payload. Insurance can help soften the blow in terms of expense, although reputational damage and loss of consumer trust could still impact success.
Ransomworms Slither into Existence
Ransomware has already left an open scar on organizations in just about every industry, and it is unlikely to wane as the year continues. But the threat is becoming more complex. In 2017, the application of “ransomworms” is predicted to develop and grow.
“Cybercriminals will take ransomware to the next level in 2017 by introducing auto-propagating characteristics traditionally found in network worms like codered and conficker. This will result in a breed of ransomware designed to produce endless duplicates of itself, spreading the infection far and wide.” (ITProPortal)
As your employees play out file sharing processes to perform the duties of their roles, many of them don’t fully understand all of the risks involved. If your organization doesn’t have a formal file sharing policy to protect your data assets and information, you’re at greater risk of feeling the harmful effects of a ransomware attack or, worse, the repeating byproducts of an infectious ransomworm.
Phishing Continues (and Employees Still Inflate the Risk!)
“An estimated 156 million phishing emails are sent worldwide every day, and about 16 million of those make it through our spam filters and into our inboxes. The global nonprofit Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recorded more unique phishing campaigns in the first quarter of 2016 than in any other three-month span since it began tracking data more than a decade ago, and the U.S. is reportedly home to more phishing sites than any other country.” (CSO)
Even with exhaustive efforts to train employees, many companies are still experiencing the aftereffects of phishing attacks. A single successful phishing attack could compromise an organization's entire network, leaving every file exposed. And because users continue to fall for these scams, hackers continue to use them successfully.
These data security trends are just the beginning of your education effort. To make sure your entire organization is fully informed on these important issues and working together to defend against data attacks, get your free IT compliance template today: Free Template: Build an Effective Data Security & IT Compliance Policy.
About Martin Horan
Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.