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.”
- Phishing attacks will continue to proliferate and get more sophisticated, as providers look to offer more ways to fight back. “Expect phishers and other password thieves to up their game in 2016: Both Google and Yahoo! are taking steps to kill off the password as we know it,” offering two-factor and other authentication methods. (Source: Brian Krebs, KrebsonSecurity.com, “Expect Phishers to Up Their Game in 2016,” December 15, 2015).
- 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).
- Companies developing and deploying IoT devices will be forced to focus on security. “As IoT products continue to connect more and more aspects of our lives, it means more and more of our private information is being entrusted into the hands of IoT companies. In 2016, IoT companies will be forced to increase security features to ensure users’ private information is safer than ever before.” (Source: thenextweb.com, “2016 predictions for IoT and smart homes,” by Chris Klein, Dec. 23, 2015).
- 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.