With the year almost coming to a close, there is a need for reflection and tweaks in various business departments in a bid to navigate the new year — 2021 — more effectively. When it comes to cybersecurity, in particular, getting acquainted with the emerging issues in the sector and acting in accordance with them can help companies stay abreast of any challenges that might arise.
Note, failure to take note of emerging trends in cybersecurity, relying on outdated systems, as well as, lack of adequate information on today's security concerns poses a significant risk for companies. For these reasons, business executives always need to be updated on the state of cybersecurity to ensure prosperity.
Despite the fact that artificial intelligence itself becomes a new attack surface, it is effectively used as a powerful weapon against cyber threats. Let’s see what artificial intelligence brings to the table and what other trends continue to be dominant in this realm.
The balance between cybersecurity and compliance will continue to be prioritized
The adverse effects of cyberattacks on businesses and people have pushed administrative bodies to enact various regulations and compliance measures. It is all in a bid to offer more protection, especially to establishments that have not paid much attention to cybersecurity issues.
In May of 2018, for instance, the General Data Protection Regulation was implemented, becoming one of the significant legal precedents in this sector. While companies need to abide by this regulation, they should also brace themselves for other laws in 2020 and beyond. Remember, failure to comply with these rules can be very costly, as already evidenced by GDPR's hefty fines on British Airways and the Marriot hotel chain. As such, it essential to ensure that your cybersecurity measures are in line with the relevant legal obligations.
With that cleared out, even though complying to set regulations is necessary, companies must heed the fact that IT compliance does not necessarily translate to IT security. Nonetheless, in 2020, going forward, businesses must implement essential cybersecurity measures while also abiding by the set rules of play.
Shadow information technology will continue to be a threat
The things that companies do not know about their areas of operation form some of their fast-evolving threats. Shadow information technology - the use of hardware and software internally without revealing the same to the entire department- is the term for this situation. Case in point, the use of personal data storage accounts for enterprise information or the use of Software-as-a-Service that is acquired and utilized without the knowledge of IT departments.
Most of the time, when tech executives have no idea what is being used in their teams, it becomes hard for them to manage security issues and ensure that laws are observed. The Internet of Things, for instance, is plagued by this problem. Its total installed base of linked gadgets is forecasted to reach about 75.44 billion in 2025 across the planet. However, a notable fraction of these devices is undocumented and unrestricted.
In light of this information, companies should endeavor to stay aware of the shadow IT while keeping a close eye on the use of the Internet of Things by documenting gadgets where possible. There is also a need for a holistic approach in this situation that entails the implementation and supervision and security measures to ensure suspicious activities are identified fast.
With the proliferation of new-age phishing, cyber hygiene will continue to be paramount
Classic phishing has become less effective as more people have become aware of the scheme, managing to safeguard themselves better. Consequently, the attackers have since evolved becoming smarter and skilled enough to decipher the most impenetrable cybersecurity algorithms. Today, while the level of phishing has gone significantly lower, the vice has become more targeted. Nowadays, phishing attacks aim at a particular employee, with more elaborate measures intended for collecting information and other credentials from the victim. While it might seem isolated, this is often a part of a more significant attack.
To counter such organized attacks, companies should implement cyber hygiene best practices such as:
- User education
- The adoption of preventive measures, i.e., reporting of unsolicited emails for quick action
- Multiple factor authentication
A proactive approach to security is still paramount
Cyber attacks are guaranteed to evolve, becoming more intelligent (for example, APTs) than in the past. As such, as it is already happening, businesses will continue to adopt innovative security strategies to ensure regular system checks as well as mitigation.
Businesses will continue leveraging new technologies, for example, machine learning and artificial intelligence, to better plan for attacks. Apart from that, they will put in place policies that spell out the various things to be done after a security breach.
# Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity
Why artificial intelligence is the future
With the increasing adoption of advanced security analytics, there will be a need to keep embracing the automation of artificial intelligence. This way, companies will increase the effectiveness of security teams while enabling them to respond to issues quickly. Also, worth noting is artificial intelligence will help information technology departments to assess risks and model possible threats.
The use of AI in cybersecurity enables analysts to address the threats confidently and quickly.
- Artificial intelligence is trained to learn and improve its knowledge dealing with a huge amount of data.
- AI cyber solutions apply reasoning to detect the relations between threats, like shady IP addresses or malware enabling analysts to detect issues faster.
- Application of artificial intelligence in security removes the necessity of conducting a time-consuming research and provides carefully selected risk analysis.
Surely, it doesn’t mean that they can substitute human brains. AI cyber solutions are incredible assistants to analysts working with cyber security algorithms. Combining the strengths of both human and machine intelligence it is possible to provide actionable insights.
Machine learning and cybersecurity
Machine learning is a part of AI that emulates human brain activities like learning from experience and is able to sort through millions of files to uncover a potential hazard and perform particular safety measures to prevent attacks.
Machine learning security issues
Machine learning used in cybersecurity as a shield, however it can be a hazard itself.
Hackers are taking an advantage of machine learning too with a view to achieving automated hacks that sabotage data security. The ‘bad actors’ are launching savvier attacks after studying and analyzing the machines on target and identifying vulnerabilities on the go.
As we go into the future, there is a guarantee for impressive advancements in technology as well as arrival of new measures to improve cybersecurity. However, as the developments come in, emerging cyber threats will too. As such, it is essential for information technology team leaders to ensure that they are always conversant with the latest security developments. Apart from updating their knowledge, they should consider partnering with reliable security partners to secure their systems effectively.