Welcome to 2018! We have to wonder what this year will bring after an eventful cyber scene in 2017. Looking back for a moment, it was certainly a year of emergence:
- Cybersecurity as a concept took center stage, rising from the occasional back page story to the daily headlines of local and national news.
- Breaches at organizations like Equifax and Uber showed how even large, security conscious organizations are still far from immune.
- Ransomware became mainstream thanks to the likes of WannaCry and NotPetya.
- Help finally arrived on the small business scene with companies like Launch Security taking to task to protect and defend the non-enterprise.
As we forge our way into 2018, we wanted to share insights on a handful of important topics we thought worthy of keeping in mind for the year ahead:
- Small Businesses Under Attack: Cyber risks are no longer just for large and enterprise organizations: The National Cyber Security Alliance estimates more than 70% of attacks target small businesses. Small business owners are working hard to run and build their businesses and often have limited time or budgets set for cybersecurity to properly protect themselves. But breaches at small businesses are often devastating due to downtime, lost business, legal costs, and remediation costs. Not to mention a PR nightmare with sometimes irreparable damage to an organization’s credibility, brand, and image. Business owners need to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and begin to make cybersecurity improvements as their budgets allow.
- Mobile Device Management: We can expect the use of mobile devices for everyday business activities will continue in a flurry. The challenge is, the lines are blurred between business and personal use. Organizations will need to be strategic and find ways to ensure sensitive business data is protected while also providing employees the personal autonomy. Everybody wants one life/one device, but allowing that without protection leaves organizations at risk to things like malicious apps which may be interacting with sensitive business data. Navigating and deploying mobile device security will be imperative for organizations.
- Data Disruption: Data integrity attacks are something we need to start thinking more about as attackers broaden their focus and intentions. Malicious small changes to an organization’s data can have a major impact and result in significant damage. For example, imagine hackers bypassing quality controls and altering a common medication’s formula during production. Or, changing the results of medical tests prior to distribution. Monitoring access and changes to our data is increasingly critical—we can no longer just be concerned with theft, monetary demands, and downtime.
- IoT Growth: Everything—from fridges to doggy dishes–is becoming connected and the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to explode in growth. Many of these devices work independently and differently making it very challenging for organizations to manage from a security perspective. There is a real lack of regulation resulting in devices entering the marketplace with limited security protection. Expect to see improvements as organizations begin to push at manufacturers to cyber harden their products. UL is even getting involved with the development of UL 2900, the first edition of the UL Standard for Software Cybersecurity for Network-Connectable Products.
- Awareness and Acceptance: The landscape is beginning to change. Organizations large and small are starting to understand and accept that today’s digital world comes with cyber risk. It's become clear that cybersecurity needs to be treated as a core function, not a feature, in every organization. It’s not just an IT thing anymore and forward-thinking business leaders are taking the lead, guiding their organizations through change, education, and improvements toward a stronger cybersecurity posture. It’s a team effort and the business leaders and organizations who embrace it will be reap the benefits.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, secure, and successful 2018!
Your Friends @ Launch Security