As 2015 draws to a close, we asked the Advent IM Staff to ponder the challenges for next year. 2015 saw some huge data and security fumbles and millions of people had their personal information exposed as hack after hack revealed not only how much this activity is on the increase, but also how the security posture of some businesses is clearly unfit for purpose.
Over to the team…
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Dale Penn – I predict that with the recent introduction of Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay we will see a large upswing in mobile device targeted attacks trying to get at our bank accounts.
Del Brazil – Attacks will be pushing in from the Siberian peninsular coupled with additional attacks from the orient- this will bring a chill to the spines of organisations. These attacks are likely to be followed by sweeping phishing scams from the African continent. There is also the likelihood that attacks towards HMG assets from Middle Eastern warm fronts will further identify/expose weaknesses within organisations. Closer to home is the ever increasing cold chill developing within organisations as the realisation that the threat from insiders is on the rise. In summary it’s going to be a mixed bag of events for a number of wide ranging organisations. However on the whole, as long as organisations grab their security blanket they will be best placed to ward off the majority of attacks.
Chris Cope – If 2015 saw a significant number of high profile information security breaches, then expect 2016 to be more of the same. Attackers are getting cleverer at exploiting weaknesses; most notably those presented by people. I confidently predict that a significant number of incidents in 2016 will feature poor security decisions made by employees. I also predict a significant challenge for many organisation which hold personal data. The forthcoming EU regulation on data protection will provide significant challenges on the protection of personal information of EU citizens. With a significant increase in financial sanctions highly likely, the importance of safeguarding personal data has increased dramatically for any organisation, even those who were not challenged by the penalties previously awarded by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Could this be the start of a wider regulatory drive to improve information security – probably not, at least not yet. Finally, with continuing uncertainty across key areas of the globe, particularly the Middle East, we will also see more examples of ‘cyber warfare’ as this nascent capability continues to be exploited. This will lead to a flurry of reports on how cyber war is about to doom us all or is irrelevant (depending on one’s viewpoint); surely an opportunity to educate the wider populace, and key decision makers, on what information security, and its potential consequences, could actually mean?
Mark Jones – I predict…
- Cloud security becomes even more important as more and more businesses move services there – more demand for ISO27017
- Related to the above, more Data Centre Security certifications due to contractor (customer) requirements
- More BYOD-related security incidents with more mobile malware found on all platforms with China the main source – mobile payments being a prime target
- Cyber Essentials leads to more demand for ISO27001 certifications from SMEs
- Privileged insider remains the main Threat Source & Actor
- More incidents relating to online cyber-extortion / ransomware
- With increasing demand for infosec specialists and/or DPOs organisations will find it more difficult to recruit than ever
- More incidents relating to the Internet of Things – smart devices such as drones falling out of the sky causing harm; more car computers hacked resulting in more car theft
Ellie Hurst – Media, and Marcomms Manager – I predict the growth of ransomware in business. Ransomware, is mainly (though not exclusively) spread by phishing and given the success of phishing as an attack vector and that one in four UK employees don’t even know what it is (OnePoll for PhishMe), I think it will continue to be the most likely form of ransomware proliferation. Of course, it can also be spread by use of inappropriate websites and so businesses that do not have, or enforce a policy or exercise restrictions in this area, will also find themselves victims of this cynical exploit.
A word from our Directors…
Julia McCarron – Advent IM Operations Director – I predict a RIOT – Risks from Information Orientated Threats.
Mike Gillespie – Advent IM Managing Director – I predict an escalation in the number and severity of data breach in the coming year. Recent failures, such as TalkTalk, VTech and Wetherspoons highlight that many businesses still do not appreciate the value of the information assets they hold and manage. Business needs to increase self-awareness and looking at the Wetherspoons breach, ask the difficult question, “Should we still be holding this data?”
I think the buzz phrase for 2016 will be Information Asset Owners and if you want to know more about that, then you will have to keep an eye on what Advent IM is doing in 2016!