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  • Anil Lamba

Cyber-Security Trends in 2019

Updated: Jun 25, 2019


Research indicates that cyber-crime damages will total $6 trillion a year by 2021—more than double the cost of just a few years ago. Part of that total comes from the growing success of ransomware schemes, which cost about $5 billion a year, up from just $325 million in 2015. These chilling stats point to one reality: Effective IT security measures are growing more important with every passing year.


Faced with a rising tide of cyber-crime, organizations in every industry—from healthcare and retail to financial services—are being increasingly challenged to protect important customer and client data, as well as valuable intellectual property, trade secrets, and more. Meanwhile, they must ensure they are meeting industry regulations, which often are a moving target.


2018 has been a good year for cyber-security so far, for organizations that have recently updated their systems to include automation, orchestration, and case management in a centralized platform relevant to their industry. For the rest - it's fair to say the past two years haven’t been too great.



We witnessed a number of high-profile cyber-attacks; including the Emotet malware attack on Allentown City Council, Sam Sam ransomware attack on the Colorado Department of Transportation, Equifax, Deloitte and the notorious WannaCry ransomware attack. The number of attacks continue to rise regardless of the constant flow of security updates and patches which raises the question - will 2019 be better or worse than 2018 and 2017? It’s best to stay ahead and learn about 2019 cyber-security trends that are here to stay.


Trends to Adopt


Here are the Top Ten cyber-security trends in focus for 2019


1. Data Quality and Governance

No matter how sophisticated IT security becomes, it will always be vital to ensure the quality and control of your data. Data quality refers to having accurate, complete, and timely data that is consistent with all business rules and requirements. Data governance involves the exercise of authority, control, and shared decision-making around data management. Achieving this level of insight into and control over your data is a key step in ensuring its security.

Data quality and governance is particularly important in industries that are regulated by federal standards, such as PCI and HIPAA. By prioritizing the regulation standards that apply to your industry through effective data quality and governance, you’ll have a strong foundation for keeping your data secure.


2. Supply Chain Attacks

By corrupting software updates of your operating system, operations and application software, malware is automatically updated into your software. Once downloaded, any attack is possible. Any software, in-house or in the cloud can be corrupted without you knowing it. This attack leverages your “trust” of your vendors and typically is automatically updated on your systems.


3. Crypto Currency Attacks

With the advent of high-speed computers and block chain technology, criminals are crypto jacking your servers and computers to create cyber currency at your expense (literally). Meanwhile, criminals have launched multiple attacks on the crypto currency ecosystem to steal crypto currency. Attacks on users, creators, and exchanges using traditional cyber-attack methods gain access to crypto currency wallets to steal currency without attacking the block chain itself.


4. The rise of national level attacks

The rise of national cyber-attacks is one of the most disturbing areas of cyber security. These attacks go beyond financial interests and are politically driven. In the near future, attacks will be designed to obtain intelligence and data to thwart the objectives of any country or political entity. They can be used to target electronic voting systems and user preferences on social media to manipulate public opinion in a particular way. Since national cyber security attacks are sophisticated, targeted, well-funded and have the potential to be extremely disruptive, Governments must safeguard their internal networks by isolating them from the internet, and carry out extensive security checks on all staff members. Governments should never acquire and use technology or software from untrusted sources. For example, the U.S. Government banned Kaspersky software in all government agencies over concerns of Russia’s probable influence.


5. Ransomware

An increasing number of cyber criminals appear to have shifted their attention to ransomware. Ransomware works because it depends on users’ negligent security practices. Given that a large percentage of internet users do not follow best practices – it’s predictable that most cyber criminals in 2018 are turning to it for their source of income. We shouldn’t undervalue the potential damage IoT ransomware could cause in 2019. For example, hackers may target serious structures such as city power grids. If the target city fails or refuses to the pay the ransom on time, the attackers can completely shut down the grid. Alternatively, since many cities and homes are opting for smart technology in 2018 and 2019 like automatic factory lines, smart TVs and more, hackers can target factory production, smart cars, home appliances such as smart fridges, smart ovens and more.


6. Attacks powered by Artificial Intelligence

AI/Machine Learning software has the aptitude to ‘learn’ from the consequences of former events to help forecast and classify cyber-security threats. According to a 2018 report, AI is used by roughly 87% of US cyber-security professionals. Hence, it works as a double-edged sword as hackers can use the same AI to unveil sophisticated cyber-attacks. What can organizations do about this? Well, the artificial intelligence (AI) built into security systems like D3 transforms incident data and prior responses into a proactive and dynamic security posture. With machine learning and AI-driven response, security teams can automate triage and prioritization, while reducing false positives by up to 91%.


7. Data Privacy compliance post 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come into effect on May 25, 2018 is applicable to all organizations no matter where it is headquartered globally, that intentionally screens the behavior of individuals inside the EU, or offers goods and services to the European Union. It offers an innovative framework for data protection with amplified responsibilities and obligations for organizations including elevated rights for data subjects, larger territorial scope and stringent consent laws. For global organizations that fail to adapt to this change, fines for non-compliance can reach up to 20 million Euros or 4% of worldwide annual turnover, whichever is greater. By early 2019, around 80% of multinational companies may fail to comply with GDPR if they do not understand modern Data Protection regulations.


Recently on June 28, 2018, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which will take effect on January 1, 2020. All affected organizations will need to address their data management practices, data subject rights process, and update privacy policies by January 1, 2020. The CCPA has significant implications for all Covered Businesses that fail to implement reasonable security procedures and practices to prevent data breaches.


Organizations with existing privacy capabilities, such as those developed for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, and those without any previous preparation may need the entire grace period before the deadline to deploy necessary capabilities and the clock has already started.


8. Advanced systems for digital investigations

To manage tasks, deadlines and processes, mix of spreadsheets, email and homegrown solutions will not meet the needs of complex digital investigations in 2019. Companies need to adopt a flexible, end-to-end guided investigation procedure, with automated deadline and SLA tracking, contextual instructions, and stage-based workflows that keep users focused on relevant data and features.


9. Full-lifecycle incident management

Organizations are now investing in turn-key integrations that primarily intake events from a source system and make them available for incident management, investigation and security operations. The Connectors in these security systems are developed with each partner to ease implementation and provide bi-directional data flow from technology alliances that offer factory support from both sides.

10. Integrated Security

In the fast-paced digital age, we expect various devices and systems to be able to work well together and share information effectively. That’s true in the consumer realm, and it’s true in the world of IT security. In the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber-crime tactics, most stand-alone, siloed systems simply don’t get the job done anymore.

An integrated approach to IT security involves leveraging multi-layered security solutions and integrating them into one cohesive system. Depending on a company’s needs, an integrated IT system might include intrusion prevention, web proxy and anti-malware, web application firewalls, VPN, antivirus, data encryption, vulnerability scanning, email security, DNS protection, and more. When these and other tools are working together instead of operating separately, you benefit from better efficiency, reduced costs, and optimized security.


Conclusion:

While threats and risks continue to pile up, the good news is the challenges we are about to face in 2019 aren’t insurmountable. The crucial aspect of managing them successfully is staying up-to-date with security systems, understanding possible future threats and pacing back to comprehend big-picture trends that are driving them.

As you can see, not every IT security trend is going to be a flash in the pan. These TEN important developments are fundamentally changing the way the world does IT security. By adopting them at your own organization for 2019, you’ll be in a better position to combat cyber-crime, even as it grows more sophisticated every year.


References:

https://www.esecuritysolutions.com/2019-cyber-security-planning-guide-security-attack-trends

https://info.fnts.com/blog/5-it-security-trends-to-adopt-in-2019

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2019-cyber-security-trends-here-stay-marushka-monette-dias/


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Dr.Anil Lamba

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