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Cyber Risks To Intensify in 2017



Experts project that business cybersecurity threats will increase tremendously in 2017. From intensified industrial attacks on internet of things (IoT) devices, to creative ransomware and social engineering, to blurred lines between actions and responsibilities of businesses and governments, 2016 was only a beginning. According to reports by various cybersecurity firms, this year, we will see intensified threats, along with modified challenges that will lead to the introduction of new regulations in cybersecurity.

As governments firm up online regulatory regimes in response to these threats, businesses are most likely to find themselves struggling to interpret the regulatory landscape and how these regulations will affect their operations. All entities, including small but targetable startups, are expected to incorporate cybersecurity risk management policies in 2017. Below are top threats likely to be witnessed in 2017.

Criminals will harness the Internet of things devices to launch attacks. These threats are expected to use botnets to execute distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, spamming, malware propagation, and other anonymised malicious operations.

Instances of data integrity attacks will register a sharp increase, too. This threat will involve sabotaging available data, thus confusion and doubt over the accuracy, reliability, and authenticity of information. This will lead to impaired decision-making across the public and private entities.

Drawing statistical curve from attacks witnessed last year, social engineering and spear-phishing techniques are expected to become craftier this year. The criminals will display improved creativity as they focus more on the human element as a weak launching point, thus exploiting the most susceptible human link. These could be inadequately trained employees, or advanced social engineering methods that will bypass even the most experienced tech gurus.

In response to such risks and threats, entities should brace themselves to adopt new global standards and regulatory pressures that will be put in place. These regulations will include worldwide “red teaming” or ethical hacking, dedicated to detecting vulnerabilities in systems, networks, and data. These collaborative efforts will take hacker-like approaches to detect, report, and implement threats and vulnerabilities across globalised systems.

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