Top Cybersecurity & IoT Predictions for Business in 2016

Well it’s the end of the year and, as usual, everyone is out with their predictions about what the coming year will hold for technology. To follow then is a compilation of some of the more interesting and important cybersecurity and IoT predictions related to business from folks who are “in the know.”

On Cybersecurity:

Krebs phishers
“Expect phishers and other password thieves to up their game in 2016…”
  • Ransomware attacks will continue to be used against companies at increasingly alarming rates. “Ransomware, whereby hackers take control of the data in their victims’ computers, encrypt the data and threaten to destroy the data unless the victims pay a ransom has evolved into a bigger problem than many people may be aware of because many of the victims of ransomware do not report the attacks out of a concern as to adverse publicity. Companies of all sorts and governmental agencies have become victims of ransomware. The sophistication of the malware used as ransomware makes this a tremendous threat.” (Source: USA Today, “Cybersecurity Predictions for 2016,” by Steve Weisman, Dec. 27, 2015).
  • Companies will get smarter about cybersecurity, including realizing the need for a dedicated, information security resource.  “Enterprises will finally realize the need for a job designation that focuses solely on ensuring the integrity of data within and outside the enterprise…Awareness around data protection will pave the way to a significant shift in the enterprise mindset and strategy against cyber-attacks. We will see more enterprises taking on the role of the ‘hunter’ instead of the ‘hunted’, in that they will begin to make use of threat intelligence and next-generation security solutions with custom defense to detect intrusions earlier.” (Source: Trend Micro, “Security Predictions for 2016 and Beyond,” October 27, 2015). 

On the Internet of Things (IoT):

  • Wireless power will begin to emerge as an important solution to IoT device power issues. “…as Energous Corp. (WATT) CEO, Steve Rizzone, said in a recent conference call,’IoT is becoming more and more of a dominant market consideration and to support IoT you need two functions, you need internet connectivity and you need power.’ So what’s the answer? [ ] I’m convinced it’s wireless power…a bevy of companies are working diligently to bring technologies to market that can transmit power at distance – upwards of 15 feet.” (Source: Wallstreetdaily.com, “The Best Play on the Internet of Things Trend,” by Louis Basenese, Dec. 21, 2015).
citrix IoT predictions
“In 2016, we will see more and more emphasis on using IoT and the Integration of Everything to solve complex business problems.”
  • More companies will turn to IoT to solve business problems. “In 2016, we will see more and more emphasis on using IoT and the Integration of Everything to solve complex business problems. While this won’t grab as much public attention as deflating a hype bubble [ ] it will really start to build momentum behind the Enterprise business model for IoT. One large Enterprise opportunity is in Healthcare and another example is how IoT is going to power the smart-office in 2016. IoT will help enable this transformation with meeting room automation, workflow orchestration and facilities optimization.” (Source: Citrix, “Predictions for the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2016,” by Chris Witek, citing Chris Fleck, Dec. 18, 2015).

While there are a lot of predictions about the coming year for cybersecurity and the Internet of Things, one thing is for sure: 2016 will be an exciting and important time in these spaces, as successful, innovative companies look to leverage the power of IoT while also maintaining the safety and security of their data and that of their employees and customers. Time will tell who is the most successful in this increasingly precarious balancing act.

Is the Cloud the Answer to Your Cybersecurity Challenges?

For years, the use of the the cloud has been viewed by many as a cybersecurity risk. Having a company’s data, processes and work maintained and performed in some far away location seemed counterintuitive to keeping the same held close to home and “safe” on that same company’s own servers and systems.

Increasingly, however, many organizations are viewing the cloud as a much more secure environment in the face of an ever-increasing cyberthreat landscape.

cos using cloud for cybsercurity
“Years ago when companies began moving sensitive information to the cloud, there was paranoia about storing data off site. But cybersolutions are evolving and increasingly include cloud-based solutions.”

According to a CNBC article last month citing a recent PWC survey entitled “The Global State of Information Security Survey 2016,” “more cybersecurity professionals are turning to cloud storage as an effective and more affordable way to fight cyberterrorism…” (Source: CNBC, “Why more companies are using the cloud to fight cyberthreats,” by Jennifer Schlesinger, Nov. 14, 2015).

From the article:

  • Nearly 70 percent of respondents said their company is using cloud-based cybersecurity services, according to PWC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016… (emphasis added)
  • The cloud as a less pricey cybersecurity tool is especially beneficial and welcome for small- to mid- sized companies that can’t afford all the bells and whistles that larger companies employ to keep their networks safe.
  • “The value of moving to the cloud outweighs the risk of paranoia,” said Chris Weber, co-founder of Seattle-based Casaba Security.”

The CNBC article went on to say that, “Beyond smaller firms, larger companies are also moving security to the cloud, with many companies setting up their own cloud-based system, according to PWC’s Burg. He added many of the larger companies already use cloud-based messaging services, so moving to cloud-based cybersecurity is a natural progression.” (emphasis added).

PWC study on infosec
“Many organizations are incorporating strategic initiatives to improve security and reduce risks,” including 69% of respondents who said they were utilizing cloud based security services.

Today’s leaders must conduct their own assessment of the specific, relevant cyberthreats they and their organizations face. Those leaders must use all of the tools at their disposal and develop a strategic approach that allows them to address and mitigate cyberthreats based on the threat vectors that are relevant to them and their respective groups. While many tools are available, what’s clear is that more and more the cloud is becoming an increasingly attractive option in creating these cyberdefenses. The cloud may not be right for every organization, but forward thinking leaders will at the very least consider cloud-based solutions and implement them as needed as part of a strong, comprehensive cybersecurity program.