6 Cybersecurity Trends and Insights to Expect This Year

The sheer volume of recent big data breaches, such as the infamous 1 billion Yahoo users heist, among others, will continue to inform cybersecurity trends this year. The impact of cybersecurity threats on financial institutions (FIs) is increasingly coming under the spotlight as hackers target financial information of bank customers. To respond to these threats, several cybersecurity trends are already discernible as players seek to protect critical information and data.

Here are six cybersecurity trends and insights to expect this year:

Cybersecurity Trend #1: Expect Even Tighter Regulations to Stave Off Breaches

The last few years have been marked by data breaches. Every year has reported several big data breaches that have left companies reeling under heavy losses and reduced momentum. This trend is expected to persist into this year and beyond. Therefore, the need to comply with response initiatives for data breaches will be extremely critical. Your organization’s ability to quickly respond to incidences of data breaches will become even more critical this year.

For instance, GDPR requires companies to report and respond to data breaches where personal information has been compromised. Punitive fines of up to € 10M are imposed on companies that fail to report personal data breaches within 72 hours. To avoid these penalties, and the potential impact of a data breach, companies are expected to invest more resources in preparing for a potential data breach.

Cybersecurity Trend #2: Securing the Mobile Platform Will Be a Challenge

Today, smartphone users are highly concerned about their privacy, especially with the pervasiveness of mobile app development. It does not help their nerves that some big companies have recently come under cyber attacks. The incessant attacks targeted at mobile devices and apps expose users to fraud, especially in terms of compromised financial information that could be used by criminals to clean their bank accounts.

It does not help matters that most organizations and financial institutions are lagging behind in terms of insulating their apps against cyber attacks. However, it is expected that this year will see more resources and expertise invested in measures to counter phishing and hacking to assuage the privacy concerns of users.

Cybersecurity Trend #3: Application Shielding

To secure mobile applications, this technology will continue to play a critical role this year. The technology works by detecting interference with a mobile app and stops potentially malicious code from causing damage. As the year progress, we are likely to witness some of the most severe mobile threats. These include phishing attacks, overlay attacks, among other dangerous mobile app threats.

Studies demonstrate that most users are likely to yield to phishing attacks perpetrated through mobile devices than on any other platform. This trend is likely to persist beyond this year. Other mobile attacks that are likely to persist include code injection and ransomware. The ease with which one can launch these multi-payload attacks is a critical threat likely to persist into the coming years.

Cybersecurity Trend #4: Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence to Monitor Fraud

To analyze transaction risks, this year will see increased use of advanced technologies such as AI. We will see a rise in attempts at solutions that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze transaction risks, especially among financial institutions. Artificial intelligence is expected to be one of the top cybersecurity trends this year.

With AI, you can analyze large swathes of data, fraud patterns, and connections between various entities. An AI system can within milliseconds analyze scenarios that fraud analysts are yet to discover. The result is a reduction in manual work that would have otherwise been expended in monitoring transactions. AI also enhances the quality of a fraud analyst’s work due to reduced workload. This allows them to focus on the most critical areas of their job.

Cybersecurity Trend #5: Cyber Warfare

As the intensity of cyber attacks increase, countries will fork out huge amounts of funds to enhance their cyber attack preparedness. So far, at least 33 countries possess a cyber attack capacity. In 2012, only fourteen countries had such capabilities.

It, therefore, appears that having a ‘cyber force’ to protect a country’s virtual borders and critical installations are increasingly becoming an integral component of a nation’s armed forces. Many organizations are investing in managed IT services to boost their cybersecurity. On the flipside, however, there is a likelihood that some of these tools will be used to settle geopolitical wars.

Cybersecurity Trend #6: The Spread of “Fake News”

Cyberspace warfare is not limited to protecting networked infrastructure that could compromise the delivery of services and cripple businesses. It is also not just about service disruption and systems sabotage. It is also a battle of wits where nations seek to win the hearts and minds of users. As a result, there has been a lot of “fake news” and propaganda to influence people’s behaviour; both offline and online.

This cybersecurity trend is expected to continue into this year and beyond through automated messaging targeted at special interest groups and individuals, especially through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The debates surrounding this trend are expected to persist into this year as people try to decipher the grey area between truth and outright falsehoods.

Cybersecurity continues to be a significant area of concern. The emerging trends point to a battlefield that is increasingly becoming complex by the day. How companies navigate this battlefield to secure data, especially the personal details of their customers will inform future cyber security trends.

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