Rise of AI
With the rise of cyber-attacks throughout 2017, businesses are turning to machine learning and AI to safeguard against advanced cyber threats.
Through utilising AI businesses can create software that recognises patterns within their systems, and detect any real-time abnormalities in these patterns. This greatly improves cyber threat detection rates by identifying these threats before they are deployed by attackers.
Unfortunately, as well as businesses using AI to safeguard their systems, attackers can also use AI to discover and exploit system vulnerabilities. For example, AI can be used by cyber criminals to create malicious emails that so closely match genuine human equivalents they are virtually undetectable. A huge quantity of these emails can be created and sent at an alarming rate, enabling attackers to automate and accelerate large scale phishing attacks with minimum effort.
This is set to create a cat and mouse race situation throughout 2018, with both businesses and attackers attempting to outwit the defence and advances of the other.
2017 was a prominent year for the rise of ransomware, with malware outbreaks such as WannaCry, BadRabbit and NotPetya successfully attacking businesses globally. This is only set to continue throughout 2018, with ransom demands being surrendered by those still failing to protect their sensitive data.
Ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated as technology advances, with attackers discovering new effective ways of hacking valuable business data. Every time an attack is foiled, the perpetrators work harder and more skilfully to ensure the next is successful. The rise in cryptocurrencies also provides anonymity for attackers, enabling them to encash their ransom without leaving a trace.
Not only do ransomware attacks cost businesses financially, they can also seriously damage their reputation. Customers trust businesses to keep their private information safe, and if this trust is broken then they will not hesitate to take their custom elsewhere. Robust IT security measures such as data encryption and backups should be implemented and regularly updated in order to keep business data safe from such attacks.
Traditional passwords are no longer secure enough for modern businesses. In the wake of major cyber-attacks in 2017, businesses and their customers are more aware of the consequences of weak password protection. These attacks began to stir concerns amongst customers about the safety of their online data, and spurred the adoption of more secure password alternatives for many enterprises.
Older methods of multi-factor authentication were seen to negatively impact user experience, such as sending SMS codes after initial password input, as many users found these methods time consuming and bothersome. Through advances in technology these dated methods have been surpassed with easier and more secure alternatives such as voice recognition and facial/fingerprint scans. There are costs associated with implementing multi-factor authentication, such as initial set up costs and any support or training, which may be holding businesses back. However, when measured against the potential risks of a cyber security breach it is clear that these initial costs are essential.
With the rise in malware occurrences, it is more vital than ever that business protect their sensitive data. Multi-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security beyond password protection, making persistent cyber threats such as brute force attacks harder to achieve. With further advances in multi-factor authentication, 2018 is set to see high rates of adoption of these techniques in an effort to successfully safeguard business and consumer data.