2016 came to a close as one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory, with the upset of the century in our presidential election and a general feeling of insecurity. Sadly, we’re not here to alleviate that unrest, the numbers are in and 2016 was a bad year for security experts as well.
Seeing an unprecedented amount of cyber-attacks in 2016, implementing new sophisticated ransomware technologies hackers gained ground last year. And they look set to do it again.
“Expect even more in 2017,” cautions security expert Brian NeSmith of Arctic Wolf. Here are his predictions for what 2017 has in store:
“Large enterprises are very aware of their security weaknesses, and they have made significant investments to fortify their security,” observes Brian NeSmith, chief executive officer and founder at Arctic Wolf Networks. “Most of the low hanging fruit, however, has not been picked yet. In 2017, we’ll see cyber criminals shift more of their focus to SMBs who are easier targets since they are less sophisticated and do not have the budget and/or resources to implement enterprise-class security. According to research from earlier this year more than half of small businesses were targeted in the last 12 months. In 2017 we’re predicting 75 percent of all SMBs will be a target.”
“Ransomware stole headlines in 2016, but the gig isn’t up,” warns NeSmith. New variants of ransomware that are able to evade detection will become prevalent in the coming year. As ransomware continues to become more advanced, it will perpetuate the cat-and-mouse game of security experts gunning down the latest software. Expect a spike in ransomware as security experts fall a step behind.
“Cyber warfare among nations has been all cloak and dagger up to now,” NeSmith explains. “Everybody knows it happens, but it is never covered as widely as a traditional military campaign.” As cyber warfare threats become more advanced, and more relevant to national affairs, expect to see cyber-attacks covered on the 6 o’clock news.
“We know by now that businesses should be worried about not if they will be breached, but when,” NeSmith says. “As more organizations accept this reality, and consider how they can recover from the potentially crippling financial losses of a data breach, incident response plans will evolve to include cyber insurance. The guarantee that complete data recovery is attainable and affordable is peace-of-mind that businesses are finding more and more value, and a trend that we can expect to grow in 2017.”