The Top Business Network Security Threats of 2016

Business network security managers are probably ready to take a gigantic deep breath after 2014 and 2015. As soon as 2014 was unanimously declared the Year of the Data Breach, 2015 swarmed in and easily met (if not surpassed) its predecessor in terms of data breaches. What does 2016 hold? Well, the APTs, DDoS, and a good old-fashioned blunt force data breach are not yet out of vogue. But better security monitoring and incident response techniques mean that the hackers have to be a little more suave to be truly successful. Here’s what to expect on both sides of the security fence this year.

More Threats to Infrastructures Previously Thought Secure

Until recently, the penguin has been more or less left alone. Look for him to join the ranks of the hacked this year, as well as his buddies the cloud, mobile payment apps, and all things open source.

The cloud, Linux operating systems, mobile payment apps — all of these have been thought to be relatively secure. However, 2016 will be the year that the foundations are shaken. Expect hackers to target the lucrative collections of data that are stored in cloud applications, backups, and storage solutions, and look for more attacks outside the often-targeted Windows systems. This means more malware and breaches involving Apple and Linux systems. Also, expect at least one major hack attack to be successful against a mobile payment infrastructure.

Biometrics Comes of Age

As threats become more advanced, more persistent, and more multifaceted, you can expect business network security personnel to respond with more stringent authorization techniques, including more widespread use of biometrics. This will certainly not be the only response by security specialists — they’ll also spend 2016 working on better monitoring, incidence response and forensics products and techniques — but it will be a significant step toward securing systems against unauthorized users.

Hactivism Increases in Frequency

Hackers are no longer limited to identity thieves.  Hactivists are those who hack for a cause, such as a political agenda, nationalist interests, or a social cause like special interest groups, the environment, etc. Many hactivists are backed by deep pockets, such as national governments or strong political and activist groups. This means that their skills and technologies are quite superior to the average hacker, and that they have more time, resources, and motivation to hack successfully.

Demand for Cyber Security Insurance Expands

Soon, cyber security insurance will be as important to the business as property insurance and worker’s comp.

Naturally, more savvy and well-funded hackers means that the good guys need some additional financial help, too. Look for the purchase of cyber security insurance to increase. The good news is, more customers might mean lower premiums. The bad news is, an increase in hacks and threats could drive rates even higher.

Threat Intelligence Sharing Improves

Sharing information following a security breach is essential so that other organizations can learn lessons from these attacks. Sharing also allows the entire business network security industry to participate in helping to track, identify, and bring to justice those hackers responsible for an attack. Additionally, if information on enough attacks is made available, we could gather enough data to conduct powerful analytics, which could help the entire security industry in many ways. Expect 2016 to be the year that more information on threat intelligence is shared outside the organization targeted and the officials investigating the incident.

Want to learn more about network security mistakes your team could be making? Download our FREE eBook “10 Cybersecurity Mistakes Your Team Is Making.”

By Craig Badrick


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