True to tradition, Basefarm’s Head of Security Operation has looked deep into his crystal ball to see what the new year holds. Here are 8 security trends to look out for in 2019.
1. Workforce gap necessitates different solutions
According to the (ISC)2 organisation, we have a shortage of three million cybersecurity professionals. Without the shortfall, the organisation’s 138,000 membership would be even larger. Europe alone has a workforce gap of 147,000. The shortfall calls for a different approach to meeting security needs, for example, through competence-sharing with other enterprises or security operations centres (SOC).
2. DDoS attacks are becoming less common but more powerful
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks is a major worry. Initially, this type of attack was designed to sabotage, but the aim nowadays is often to steal important data and then blackmail the victims. The trend among perpetrators is not to spread their efforts widely, but rather to focus the attacks more aggressively.
3. Cryptojacking less risky for the attackers than DDoS
The downside for the bad guys of DDoS and many other cyberattacks is the risk of discovery. For this reason, many are turning to cryptojacking instead. Cryptojacking involves infiltrating a large number of computers in order to “mine” cryptocurrency. It is a quick way for cybercriminals to earn money, by getting thousands of computers to work for them for free. There’s no obvious damage done and many people are scarcely aware of the extra processing power and electricity used. If the victims discover the intrusion, they will often just be content to block access.
4. IoT made for trouble
The security issues linked to IoT are not new, but the trend is from bad to worse. This is caused, in simple terms, by a steep rise in sales of IoT gizmos. Not only are unit sales increasing, but more manufacturers are also trying to join in the fun. Not all of them take security as seriously as the established big brands. The key concerns here are configuration errors, default passwords and a lack of upgrade options.
5. And you thought GDPR was strict? Now NIS is on the way
GDPR sets a deadline to notify impacted individuals of 72 hours from detection of a data breach. Looking the other way and detecting nothing is not a solution. Businesses therefore need to monitor infrastructure and logs using an in-house or external SIRT (Security Incident Response Team). In certain sectors, breach reporting needs to be done within 24 hours. Key aspects of the NIS Directive apply from November 2018. A lot of businesses will need to get their heads round this.
6. Safer in an unlit back alley than online
According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, you are 30 times more likely to be robbed online than in ‘real’ life. With people’s purses and wallets containing little more than easily blocked credit cards, street robbery is going out of fashion. Money is moving over to cyberspace, with the thieves hot on its tail.
7. Decryption is sneaking up from down under
The Australian Anti-Encryption Bill was passed on 6 December 2018 and comes into force early in 2019. Under the legislation, the law enforcement authorities can oblige the tech giants like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Amazon and Microsoft to grant them access to encrypted data. The measures include removing electronic protection, installing existing decryption software and developing new software. Serious financial penalties await non-compliant companies
8. IT pros and the white hats strike back
Some of the largest and best-known cyberhacks have been down to sloppy IT practices. The black hat hackers are becoming more sophisticated, but so too are the white hat hackers and other infosec professionals aswell/too. Measures that go a long way to protect enterprises include scanning applications and fixing detected vulnerabilities, two-factor/multifactor authentication, more user names and long passwords, patching/installation of security updates and controlling user curiosity about funny-looking emails.
Author: Fredrik Svantes, Senior Information Security Manager, Basefarm
Fredrik Svantes is the Head of the Basefarm Security Operations department and has also lead the Basefarm Security Incident Response Team for the past seven years. Previously he has worked for companies such as Blizzard Entertainment, doing detective work on logs for massive online platforms running games such as World of Warcraft. Blog: http://bfblogg.wpengine.com . Twitter: @fredriksvantes .