After a whirlwind year in cyberattacks, everyone is asking the same question: how much worse can it get, and what are we going to do about it?
Cybersecurity is – to say the least – a hot-button subject. From accusations of Russian hacking in the US elections, high level data breaches affecting millions, such as Equifax, and astronomical increases in recorded cyberattacks all over the world, last year may have earned the title of annus horribilus in cybersecurity. Just take a look at this compiled list of significant cyberattacks in the past year to make your head spin. Yet with increased threats comes increased measures to combat them. Let’s take a snapshot look at the future world of cyber:
The Rise and Rise of Ransomware
Ransomware has taken center stage with a massive increase in attacks. According to recent statistics, 50% of organizations were hit with ransomware in the past year. Even more frightening, 77% of those companies attacked by ransomware were running up-to-date security protection. In the UK, cybercrime in business has increased by 63%. Whatever else may be in store for the next years, one thing is clear – there’s a need for new, innovative and ground-breaking approaches to cybersecurity.
In fact, many organizations are progressively focusing on strategies centred on threat detection and response rather than prevention, as they used to. Investing in effective Threat Lifecycle Management (TLM), for example, decreases your organization’s risk of experiencing a damaging cyber-incident or data breach. Internal and external threats will still exist, but faster detection and response capabilities reduce the likelihood of costly consequences. The positive outcome of TLM and other innovative approaches to cybersecurity are thoroughly explained in product review sites, in order to help you find the best cybersecurity products for your organization.
Foreign Fears: More State-Sponsored Attacks
High profile cases, such as the WannaCry malware attack (which, some say, could have been prevented), highlighted the real and present danger of state sponsored cyberattacks by foreign governments and entities. WannaCry, which affected over 300,000 computers in 150 countries, was recently blamed on North Korea by both the US and UK governments. The NotPetya attack, which occurred shortly after WannaCry, was actually believed to be a cover for a targeted cyberattack against Ukraine, having hit hard at Ukrainian utilities and infrastructure. The question is going to be: how can the average business or consumer protect themselves so as not to end up as collateral damage in the international intrigue of the cyber-arms race?
New Players, New Partnerships, Big Money
As cyberattacks proliferate, cybersecurity becomes more complex, and new novel approaches are called for. And that translates to big spending. Global cybersecurity is expected to cost over $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021. There are already signs pointing in that direction, with the announcement of a partnership between Apple, Cisco and insurance company Allianz SE to
provide cyber-insurance discounts to companies using these tech giants’ security products.
RSE Ventures, a VC company jointly owned by Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, and Matt Higgins, invested $30 million in building a brand to help small and medium business owners in the cybersecurity space. In 2017, VC funding of cybersecurity companies grew by 40%. According to Higgins, the cybersecurity market is “frothy”, with a lot of “money chasing deals”. This is likely to continue. The question is: how high can it go?
Things are Getting Serious: IoT and Cybersecurity
This year saw a massive increase in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, which are designed to overwhelm online service providers with a flood of traffic from multiple sources. The reason for this massive growth is believed to be a steep rise in the use of the notoriously vulnerable Internet of Things. In response, the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance was already formed in early 2017, bringing together IoT service providers and cybersecurity experts to develop best practices that can combat the increasing threats.
About the Author: Shachar Shamir
Shachar Shamir is COO of Ranky, a marketing company based in Tel Aviv. As Ranky’s COO, Shachar helps startups around the world with their marketing and online growth needs. So far, he has helped more than 200 startups with hands-on solutions. Other than that, he offers startups consulting and mentoring solutions, on how to increment their presence online and gain more clients.