Did it occur to you too, that as life goes by, time seems to run ever faster? And yet, it's incredible how many things happen: especially in the dynamical field of cyber security, in which incidents increase exponentially year after year, becoming an almost uncontrollable source of danger. In an older blog post we already introduced what the top themes in cyber security would be in 2017. But what awaits us in this year? And in the following ones? What are the greatest risks you will have to address in 2018? We cannot stop time, in cyber security; but we can raise the overall sensitivity, show you potential dangers, and offer you the best possible protection. We believe that nowadays everybody must be well equipped against tomorrow's challenges. What challenges, you will learn right away.
We hate having to spoil the start of the new year for you, but we have a few shocking numbers from the past years to show you. For a start, the number of registered world-wide phishing attacks have increased by 800'000: an increase of no less than 35%! More: the damage done by ransomware all over the world, has added up to 5 bn. US dollars; in comparison, in 2015 it had been “just” 325 million. Care for more? The number of known malwares has grown between 2015 and 2017, from 1.7m to 600m. We don't give you these figures just to scare you; but it is quite self-evident, that in the last few years much has been done in cyber security space. For one, cyber criminals find ever more sophisticated ways to reach their goals; and we are sorry to say, that they succeed ever more often. So what does 2018 have in store for us? Let us introduce to you the biggest challenges:
1. GDPR – the big worry
The GDPR is one of the very top themes. The requirements of the new regulation must be met by May 25th this year. To many, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is like a red rag to a bull – unjustifiably, in our opinion. Of course, the requirements are strict, and meeting them requires quite a few resources and energy. However, in the future we will assist to a sharp increase in data breaches and APT, which will become increasingly hard to detect. But if you do a good job with your data protection duties, you will enjoy a higher degree of coverage. How are things like, at your place? Do you need support? You can find much information and useful tips from our experts, in several posts in this blog. We highly recommend to you our practical guideline to the implementation of the GDPR: follow the directions, and you will be ready in due time.
If you are untouched by the GDPR, it doesn't mean that you can sit back! The Swiss privacy law is being reviewed, too; and you will be much busy with “Privacy Impact Assessments”, the new processes for the required reporting of incidents, and “Privacy by Design”!
2. Ransomware and malware are (still) on the rise
If you think that ransomware and malware attacks have already reached explosive growth in 2017, then you are wrong. We are still far from the top! In the future it will grow ever more difficult to discover these attacks. We hope that Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will provide a significant contribution to fighting off this kind of attacks with success.
3. Cyber defence: war in the Internet
In the future, cyber security will become increasingly political, so cyber defence will be ever more important. Enterprises must assume, starting now, that their systems have already been infiltrated; or else, that they will be the next victim of an attack. Fighting cyber attacks is no longer enough; what makes the difference, is detecting infiltrations, reacting quickly and keeping the protection system optimised. All this is almost impossible to achieve, without a professional cyber defence system. In truth, cyber criminals take advantage of the fact that many enterprises are not prepared yet, or not enough. For this reason, you need to adopt a professional approach. InfoGuard's Cyber Defence Center employs 30 specialists for the top protection of our clients. Watch this video interview with Mathias Fuchs, Head of Cyber Defence, and Désirée Sacher, Senior Cyber Security Analyst, and find out what happens in a day at a Cyber Defence Center, and what are the greatest challenges that must be met.
4. ICS & SCADA security are still critical
The alleged first state-run cyber attack against an Industrial Control System (ICS) in 2010, was targeted against Iran's nuclear programme; the malware was known as Stuxnet. Your alarm-bells should now be ringing, because in this field we should expect an increasing number of attacks against industry and IoT systems. This will bring well in sight the dependencies between the Internet and the “real” world, because an attack now can have physical effects on physical objects and systems. You will find further information, as well as suggestions of security controls for the protection against attacks to ICS and SCADA systems, in the white paper we have made available for you free of charge.
Cyber Security remains dynamic
Of course the list here above is far from final, and cyber security grows at a breakneck speed. There is hardly a field left, in the digital world, in which there are no cyber risks lurking: be it smart devices, IoT, the “cloudification”, or even blockchains. An interesting reading is provided by the Mid-Year Report of MELANI, the Swiss Reporting and Analysis Center for Information Assurance, in which the situation of national and international cyber security is described very clearly.
Hopefully, one thing will be clear for you now: there are no more excuses today, to neglect cyber security. This year everybody will have to tackle its challenges, whether it be a large corporation or a SME. Our cyber security guide offers some useful indications on how to build and implement a successful cyber security strategy.
What is your estimate? Where do you see the greatest dangers for you? If you are not sure whether your cyber security is up to the challenges that you must address, contact us and we will be happy to support you, we are always ready to help.
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In 2018 we will keep up our weekly reports on the hottest topics in cyber security and cyber defence, the issues that keep everyone holding their breath. Our experts will provide you with the newest information at first hand, with precious tips to make your own cyber security stronger. So this year, too, you will be able to address the risks with a feeling of security. We hope we can still number you among our blog subscribers in the future; click here, enter your mail address and have all the news as soon as they come out.