Look into my crystal ball; let's see what 2017 has in store

Look into my crystal ball; let's see what 2017 has in store

The Christmas hangovers are starting to clear, every advert on TV seems to tell me that I need to begin the 2017 diet (maybe it’s a sign!) and Meryl Streep turned into Tyson, firing punches at Mr Trump in her Golden Globe speech. Who knows if he’s going to respond, or if he’s dazed and confused in ‘La La Land’, but one thing is for sure, 2017 is going to be a memorable year for many reasons.

2016 was the year of the high profile hack; LinkedIn, Yahoo, Oracle and DropBox were some of the major players to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. So what does 2017 have in store for us? Are we going to see an increase in cyberattacks? Are attacks going to change strategy and become more sophisticated? Are our defences going to get stronger? Or are we going to go back to the dark ages and use pen and paper for all of our work so that we can reduce cybersecurity? Experts within the industry have given predictions of what we can expect in 2017, I wonder if any of these will become true or if we’re going to witness another Leicester City FC / Brexit / Trump shock to stun us all.

What will happen with the strategy of hackers? As mentioned above, 2016 was the year of the large organisations being targeted. They were high profile, they had a massive gain for each hacking group and it took a long time for companies to recover both financially and with their reputation. 2017, might find hackers taking the easier route; targeting small and medium sized businesses. Yes the reward financially might be less for them per organisation, but it’s quicker and they can use their power to target several at once.

What will hackers do with the data they collect from breaches? Previously, it’s been a case of theft, keeping it for themselves either to hack again, or using them as ransomware. This year, we might see the rise of data manipulation. Rather than theft, which is a quick and straightforward attack, hackers may start changing the data on internal systems, which in turn could lead to long term reputational damage for the company.

Like Ryan Gosling speeding along in Drive, IoT is on the horizon, it’s going to be a bigger influence on our everyday lives than expected and it’s going to cause massive ructions within the security world. All of our devices are going to turn into the Von Traps, singing together in perfect harmony, but the majority of these are still on their default settings, open and internet ready; hackers thrive on this and will be able to integrate malware into home networks.

Finally, onto some positive outlooks rather than the doom and gloom. Cyber Insurance, 10 years ago, this wouldn’t have been talked about, but now with the growing threat on all companies the IT budgets will start to include the insurance side of things. Yes it’s good news for Law Firms and Insurance brokers, but it’s also great to see that Cyber Security is getting more recognition across all aspects of businesses. There’s going to be a greater commitment to Cyber Security and don’t be surprised if roles like Chief Cybercrime Officer (COO) start coming to the forefront, tasking one person with the responsibility to ensure a company is ‘cyber-ready’. With GDPR starting to tootle along like the Hogwarts Express, companies are going to need to be on top of everything and make sure that they are in the best position to combat Cyber Security threats with both technology and processes. 

About the author

Jonathan Stock, Cybersecurity Recruitment Consultant - IntaPeople.

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