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Symantec Predictions for 2016 -- Looking Ahead

Symantec | Jan. 11, 2016
There is no magic-bullet technology that will guarantee immunity from Internet crime or determined, targeted attacks, but being prepared for the worst can prevent some attacks.


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Today's cybercriminals are skilled enough and sufficiently resourced to have the persistence and patience to carry out highly successful attacks on consumers, businesses and governments around the world. Their efforts have turned cybercrime into big business with private information being stolen on an epic scale.

In 2015, we saw how much consumer confidence was rocked by the number of mega breaches that exposed the identities of millions of people. The ability for some organizations to recover from a data breach was paralysing as we saw in the Ashley Maddison data breach.

There is no magic-bullet technology that will guarantee immunity from Internet crime or determined, targeted attacks, but being prepared for the worst can prevent some attacks. So, what lies ahead for 2016?  What will be the biggest threats that will target consumers and businesses? How will some of the newest technology trends impact privacy and regulation? And how will businesses respond to data breaches when it is no longer a matter of if, but when you will be breached?

As the year closed, Symantec's security intelligence team has put together the top security predictions for the year ahead and beyond. Here are our top picks for 2016 -

1.     The Need for Improved Security on IoT Devices Will Become More Pressing

As consumers buy more smart watches, activity trackers, holographic headsets, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the need for improved security on these devices will become more pressing.

According to a Gartner report titled Agenda Overview for the Internet of Things, by 2020 close to 30 billion connected things will be in use across a wide range of industries and the IoT will touch every role across the enterprise. There's no doubt the market for Internet of Things-ready devices is growing but it is still very frag­mented, with a rich diversity in low-cost hardware platforms and operating systems. As market leaders emerge and certain ecosystems grow, the attacks against these devices will undoubtedly escalate, as we've already seen happen with the attacks on the Android platform. The good news is that OS makers, in particularly Apple, are making good strides in enforcing security in the eco-systems they support, such as HomeKit.

In addition, the evolving concept of "care is everywhere" may see medical device security become a mainstream topic in 2016. It's widely known that life-sustaining devices like pacemakers or insulin pumps can be hacked. Fortunately, to-date, no such case has been reported outside proof-of-concept security research; however, the potential impact remains high. Under the evolving umbrella of mobile health, or mHealth, new care delivery models will move devices into the patient's home. This will place medical devices on public networks, provide medical apps through consumer devices such as smartphones, and interlace personal data with clinical information.

 

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