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December 20, 2016

More Attacks, New Technologies: Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017

Over the next year, we can expect some changes in cybersecurity that will affect all individuals, consumers, and organizations.

By James Nunns

The cybersecurity landscape changes every day. Each new device connected to the internet presents a new target for attackers that needs to be secured. And each new social media post creates new risks for phishing attacks or social engineering. As a result, the industry is evolving to meet these changes.

Emerging technologies – such as the Internet of Things, cloud technology, and mobile

John Vladimir Slamecka, Region President-Global Business-EMEA, AT&T.

John Vladimir Slamecka, Region President-Global Business-EMEA, AT&T.

devices – have had a great impact on our daily lives. But equally, they offer new points of entry for cyber criminals.

This year, billions of devices will be connected around the world. With a number like this, awareness of the unique security demands of these emerging capabilities is key to protecting your business.

Over the next year, we can expect some changes in cybersecurity that will affect all individuals, consumers, and organizations:

  • IoT security will remain the key concern for security in the upcoming year. Attackers will keep looking for weaknesses in devices across different verticals. Items like network-connected wearables, or smart coffee pots will become of increasing interest to hackers as there is often limited attention paid to security in their development cycles.
  • Authentication technologies such as biometric scanning, facial recognition “selfie” scanning, or authentication using one’s device will begin replacing passwords for access to digital content and physical buildings.
  • There will be a call for more government support on cybersecurity, in particular policymakers will be focused on how to better protect national IT systems, enhance the deployment of more cyber resilient technologies and the role of a national deterrence policy and active defense. There also will be a call for the continued development of industry standards and guidelines and possibly certification programs for IoT devices, as it is fast becoming the latest battleground.

However, hope is not lost. If we prepare diligently, we can make the job a lot harder for the hackers that want to exploit weaknesses in systems. As a result of these changes, the market will continue to shift in 2017:

  • Security and involving external help. Small and mid-sized companies don’t usually have the resources to run and constantly update their full-time security operations centers, or staff full teams for cybersecurity. They are likely to continue to turn to third parties for their security protections to maintain defenses more economically.
  • Cybersecurity jobs will boom: Cybersecurity education programs will likely continue to grow, and jobs in cybersecurity defense for organizations are likely to experience massive growth.
  • Growing use of automation tools: Automated technologies will likely help improve the pace and scope of a response. So, businesses should no longer need to expend human resources on finding and addressing risks. Instead, improved machine learning would likely identify and deal with the threat automatically, only consulting human partners when necessary.

Security has come a long way this year, and it will continue to evolve in 2017. However detecting and responding to threats isn’t getting easier. At AT&T we’re making advancements to evolve our solutions and technologies to meet cyberattacks head on and help equip today’s businesses to do the same.

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A rising tide of known threats and the mainstreaming of cyber-criminal activities created an undercurrent of concern and businesses need ask themselves: Are we doing enough to defend against known threats? Where will the next threat come from?

Criminals are always looking for the next way into your company. Your cybersecurity practices must be just as determined to keep them out.

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