The word cybersecurity means protection of computer systems from data theft or damage to hardware, software, data or services that the computers impart. Privacy and data security are two very important things in the modern world, as more and more technological devices get connected via the internet, it becomes challenging to maintain security over the network. With 5G, this pace of integration of digital devices and the IoT technology will speed up immensely. The recent attacks on computer systems have been massive, for instance, 3 billion user accounts were affected in the Yahoo data breach and 500 million in the Starwood hotel data breach. Trust is hard to build in the post-truth era and cybersecurity has been ranked with climate change among others as the biggest threats to humanity in the 21st century. The National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog cites the following as the top cybersecurity threats in India:
• Phishing and social engineering
• Spear phishing
• Denial of service
• Out of date software ransomware
Let’s take a look at the top cybersecurity trends in 2019:
• Phishing is referred to the fraudulent activity of sending emails purporting to be from a reputed source and trying to illicit sensitive user information like usernames, credit card details, and passwords. India is among the four most targeted countries with this type of attack, along with the USA, Canada, and Netherland. Phishing attacks in 2018 were up by 297%! It is extremely lucrative to hackers and unaware users fall prey to their baits. Mitigation lies in comprehensive awareness programs for security.
• GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation which is a regulation in the law of EU on data protection and privacy. As GDPR grows in its reach and scope, the enterprises in the EU find it important to strengthen their commitment to preparing and maintaining data-driven regulatory compliance. The operationalization of GDPR will stay an important thing in the cybersecurity world in Europe of 2019. The businesses need to look at it with an opportunity to make their security practices more transparent, organized, and protected. GDPR only raises the bar in the field of IT security, it is not the final thing.
• Vulnerability discovery is expected to increase by 5% or more by the end of the present year. Data shared across organizations must be secured using analytics and predictive machine learning models. Accountability which means holding those who lose personally identifiable information for the risks and the results of their security decisions is going to be an important topic.
• Management of managed and unmanaged devices is going to trend. Ever since the coming of technologies like mobile, cloud and IoT, the perimeter of the network has vanished. Hackers are getting successful in breaching military-grade firewalls. They can easily detect a poorly managed or protected device. Internet of Things offers the highest vulnerability as this is designed to seamlessly offer connectivity and availability. It lacks inherent security. 64% of organizations suffer from zero-day attacks which can be easily avoided. Many IoT devices run on default settings whose default passwords can be found on the free online catalogs.
• User awareness will be one of the topmost trends in the cybersecurity world. Businesses know it’s critical to protect themselves from the cyber risks generated from within the organization. You can have the hardest systems to break into and stringent security systems but the weakest link will always be your users. Many attacks fruition because users did not pay heed to the security code of conduct. They download stuff from unverified URLs, share sensitive information without investigation, use workplace systems for the personal transaction, and the likes. To target user awareness and improve its amount to nipping the devil in the bud.
• Shadow IT resources, the applications and software programs not approved by enterprise IT, are going to remain a big concern this year as well and they are expected to become a major reason of cyber-attacks by 2020. As BYOD or Bring Your Own Device picks up steam in the business world and businesses increasingly adopt software as a service or SaaS, security does not have to be sidelined. To stay in the game and win the race, the organization will have to develop cultures of security governance and continuously monitor device permissions and user access rights for probable vulnerabilities.
Sanchita Mittal is a dynamic technophile, writing on all aspects of the technological world. With wide and deep experience of covering all matters related to Technology, App Development Services, Life Style, Cloud and Digital Marketing. She wants to be at the forefront of technology, whether it is already applied in real life or still in the R & D lab.