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A US-based risk management firm, Stroz Friedberg, an Aon company, predicts that 2017 will usher in intensified cyber attacks, new regulations and a shift in how businesses approach cyber risk management. Threats this year include nation state cyber espionage, a rise in data integrity attacks and an increase in attacks harnessing Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Ed Stroz, Co-President and Co-Founder of Stroz Friedberg said: “In 2016 we witnessed everything from cyber attacks influencing public opinion to hacked IoT devices and the introduction of new cybersecurity regulations. This year we’ll see an intensification of these threats, along with new challenges and a blurring of lines between the actions and responsibilities of the state, markets, businesses and civil society. The flood of fake news and nation state-backed attacks in this past year’s election are just a sign of things to come, as attackers find new ways to seek faster and wider access to data and exploit sensitive information.”
The report includes:
– Criminals harness IoT devices as botnets to attack infrastructure: In 2017 Stroz Friedberg predicts there will be an increase in IoT devices compromised, harnessed as botnets, and used as launching points for malware propagation, SPAM, DDoS attacks and anonymizing malicious activities.
– Nation state cyber espionage and information war influences global and political policy: Cyber espionage will continue to influence global politics and will spread to the upcoming elections in Latin America and Europe. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea will remain regions of great concern in 2017, as they continue to develop deep pools of cyber-crime talent.
– Data integrity attacks rise: Data sabotage as the next big threat will become a reality in 2017. Criminals will seek to sow confusion and doubt over the accuracy and reliability of information, impairing decision-making across the private and public sector.
– Spear-phishing and social engineering tactics become craftier, more targeted and more advanced: As organizations continue to leverage evolving technologies, including the cloud and IoT, and in parallel shore up perimeter defenses to raise the bar of network security, criminals will increase their focus on the human element as an entry point. In 2017, advanced social engineering tactics will become more targeted, cunning, and more effective, exploiting the weakest link – employees – that organizations always find challenging to safeguard.
– Regulatory pressures make red teaming the global gold standard with cybersecurity talent development recognized as a key challenge: Increased pressure from regulators worldwide will push in-house red teaming capabilities to accelerate in 2017. In addition, companies that are not in the cyber business will face a different challenge: recruiting, motivating, and retaining highly technical cyber talent to keep their red teams at the forefront of cybersecurity. This push will likely first occur in financial hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, the EU, and the US.
– Industry first-movers embrace pre-M&A cybersecurity due diligence: The financial services industry and other regulated sectors will be early-adopters of making cybersecurity due diligence a critical part of the pre-M&A due diligence process, learning from high profile transactions that were derailed in 2016, following the exposure of cyber vulnerabilities.