2017 was a doozy of a year. Many organizations spent it scrambling, trying to prepare themselves for the likes of WannaCry and Petya. It was spent on the defense, attempting to safeguard data.
We learned that even the biggest enterprises could be hacked—the ones we thought were impenetrable.
Will 2018 follow the same suit? What should businesses expect, and how should they rise to the challenge?
Cybersecurity in 2018
Here's what this year has in store for everyone:
1) Password-only authentication will decline severely: If 2017 taught us anything, it's that password-only protection is not enough to combat the quality of hackers we now face, and consumers are taking note. After the Equifax and Anthem breaches, a higher number of consumers are demanding stronger authentication from companies.
Other authentication tools like multi-factor authentication, risk-based authentication, and identity and access management will be used more often (IMA). An indicator that points to the extinction of password-only authentication is that the IMA market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.8% this year.
These tools work to access behaviour and other data to see if the person trying to access an account is actually authorized. They put up a much stronger barrier against unauthorized users.
2) Cyberwar is already here: Countries have the capabilities to disrupt each other from afar. Cyberwar campaigns have been well underway for many years with the U.S. and North Korea ramping up their digital aggression towards each other. More cyberwar campaigns will start to emerge from the shadows and impact the public.
3) Threat-detection tasks will become more automated: Many IT teams have to sift through the massive amounts of data and alerts to determine if something is or isn't a threat. The situation won't get better. More attacks will bring with them more data. These manual tasks put a heavy burden on the shoulders' of IT teams.
Machine-learning tools are already being used to help take the load off, and this trend will increase. You can be confident about the ability of this tool, too. Studies have shown that, when properly deployed, automation tools are very effective at identifying which alerts need to be addressed.
4) Ransomware will lock in on new targets: Vendor defenses are increasing, which means traditional ransomware campaigns are no longer as profitable as they once were. So what will hackers do to get around that stump? They'll set their sights on new targets like businesses, connected devices, and high net-worth individuals. Cyber sabotage and service disruptions will also be big in 2018.
Cyberwar, automation, new authentication tools, and new targets are what's on the table for 2018, so get ready. Prepare yourself for another doozy, because this year will be the one that businesses really go head to head with cybercriminals.