2017 was dominated by news of major data breaches, cybersecurity threats, and hacks. From the global WannaCry cyberstrike to the major hacks impacting companies like Verizon and Equifax, 2017 helped make millions of companies increasingly aware of their cybersecurity.

There’s little doubt that cybersecurity will impact almost every business with a presence online.

Here are just a few of the major cybersecurity trends to watch out for this year:

AI/Machine Learning

Last year, we saw plenty of discussion around the value of AI and how it can impact innovation. In 2018, companies will be digging deeper, viewing the technology as both a pro and con when it comes to network security.

Almost every industry is already investing in artificial intelligence, but the increasing prevalence of the technology means that cybercriminals may soon be using it to actually carry out attacks on company networks.

In the 2018 Threat Prediction Report by McAfee, experts have predicted that adversaries will soon be employing machine learning themselves to attack servers, learn from defensive responses, and disrupt detection models. This means they’ll be able to exploit vulnerabilities faster than defenders will be able to patch them.

In 2018, it’s crucial that your cybersecurity team has a clear AI strategy. This needs to incorporate both the use of AI within your company and the prevention of AI attacks on your business network.

The Internet of Things

Today, most people have two or three sensors on them at any given time. Modern cars have around 500 sensors in them. You’ll find approximately 600 sensors in the average modern home, and 6,000 in an airplane. All of those sensors are generating information, which can be analyzed to help us understand that information.

If someone was to hack or manipulate the data that drives the production of your product, this could massively impact quality and customer satisfaction. And this could cause huge problems for your reputation. To stop this from happening, IoT manufacturers will need to make sure the devices can defend themselves. And businesses need to assume smart devices are easily compromised.

Top tech trends in 2018: how could cybersecurity impact your business in 2018?

Cybersecurity Skills

Cybersecurity skills have been scarce for some time. The industry will continue to need new kinds of cybersecurity skills as it continues to evolve in areas like data governance and data classes.
If you already thought big data was a big deal, you’ll need to be prepared for the next three to five years when businesses will generate more data than at any time in history.

These changes will mean that we require new skills in analytics and data science. The massive increase in the amount of information will mean that adaptive skills and artificial security intelligence will also be necessary. Businesses will need to ensure their IT team has the necessary cybersecurity skills to keep them safe.

Ransomware

We’ve all seen ransomware continue to be an issue over the past five years. Ransomware allows cybercriminals to lock up your user files and systems and demand payment if you want it back. Already in 2018, we’ve seen a hospital’s entire network shut down in Indiana after cybercriminals infected more than 1,400 files. The hospital ended up paying the ransom, which was four bitcoins totalling approximately $55,000.

Unfortunately, we can expect ransomware attacks to continue to become both more prevalent and more sophisticated, resulting in the cyber sabotage of entire systems.
Businesses will need to increase security to prevent these attacks in order to avoid complete disruption. All company devices will need to be running the right anti-malware software. You’ll also need to have a comprehensive strategy in place to not only prevent attacks but respond effectively and efficiently in the event that you are attacked.

Need help with your cybersecurity in 2018? Get in touch today to learn how we (and our business partners) can help to keep your systems and data safe.