From the Equifax breach to the WannaCry ransomware attack, cybersecurity made headlines in 2017. Experts predict that in 2018, cybersecurity breaches will continue to increase in frequency and scale, rendering the global cybersecurity situation an increasingly precarious one.
Cybercrime doesn’t distinguish between individuals, which means business owners and consumers alike must understand predictions for 2018 to support vigilance against cybercrime and foster awareness of where and how personal and professional accounts can provide risk.
Here are six cybersecurity trends to expect in 2018.
Heightened Attacks on New Devices
In a 2017 global survey by Dimensional Research, the forecast was nearly unanimous: 94% of participants expected mobile attacks to increase. Mobile devices are everywhere – and even in the workplace, many are the employees’ own devices. In fact, Forrester’s annual security survey found the majority – 68% – of employees use their own mobile devices, and an equally high 69% bring their own tablets, according to CSO. This decentralized network, combined with a slew of apps that minimize security and allow weak encryption, create a mobile landscape rife with vulnerability.
Read more about cybersecurity and mobile devices here.
Targeting Critical Infrastructure
A major breach of critical components of U.S. infrastructure is predicted sometime in the next two years, according to the majority of cybersecurity professionals surveyed by Black Hat. In the report, titled “Portrait of an Imminent Cyber Threat,” only 26% of respondents were confident that the U.S. government and defense forces would be able to respond to an oncoming attack. Both the FBI and DHS cautioned against advanced and unrelenting threats focused on key sectors like energy, nuclear, water, aviation, construction and vital manufacturing in an October 2017 report.
Healthcare Still Vulnerable
Healthcare is especially vulnerable to cyber attack due to outdated, legacy systems and the value of healthcare records. In a study by the Ponemon Institute, nearly 90% of healthcare organizations surveyed experience a data breach over the past two years, and the majority of respondents agreed that healthcare organizations are more vulnerable to data breach than other industries.
Read more about why the healthcare industry is vulnerable to cyber attack here.
Increase in IT Security Spending
Gartner stated in a press release that global spend on IT security products and services increased 7% in 2017 over the previous year, and that spend will continue to rise in the coming year, estimating a significant global price tag of $93 billion in 2018. New avenues, like application security testing, are predicted to be key drivers of this growth, alongside other key segments like IT outsourcing, consulting, and implementation.
Read more about the rising cost of cyber crime here.
Internet of Things (IoT) Vulnerability
An increasingly connected web of devices and automation through the Internet of Things (IoT) means pervasive potential breach points, experts say. The convenience offered by connecting toasters to door locks to cameras in a smartphone also presents the opportunity for hackers to exploit less rigorous security and breach home networks. Similarly, as the auto industry amps up its connectivity, it also means a breach could cause vehicles to malfunction in a breach – which could be costly for reputations, or worse, passenger safety. The medical field in particular has embraced connectivity, linking medical machines with patient records.
Read more about the rising risks involved with the Internet of Things here.
Cybersecurity Talent Scarcity
The rise in cybersecurity threats means a continued demand for cybersecurity professionals in 2018. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth within cybersecurity is above the national average, with a projected 13% increase by 2026. In some specific roles, growth is anticipated to be even higher. For example, the BLS predicts Information Security Analysts jobs will grow 28% from 2016 to 2026.
Cybersecurity professionals will be needed across industries from finance to healthcare. The high demand in this field not only represents significant professional opportunity, but also the chance to be at the helm of combating a massive, emerging facet of crime.
Think you are ready to take on the challenge? Check out our cybersecurity career guide here.