New Year, New Threats: Top 7 Cybersecurity Challenges for 2018
December 13, 2017 by Bill Rosenthal

2018 with a security symbol

As we begin the New Year, the cyber war that has been raging continues to grow in size and scale. In 2017, we have unfortunately seen many enormous data breaches, including Equifax, Kmart, and Verizon, and the overall average size of a data breach increased by two percent. 

2018 is without a doubt going to bring new challenges, threats, and trends to the world of cybersecurity. So, what kind of challenges should we be on the lookout for and what can we do about them? 

  1. More Ransomware – Although it has been a growing and rather predominant threat in for the last few years, ransomware continues and will continue to claim victims. If organizations learned anything from the WannaCry ransomware attack, it should be that the impact of this cyber threat can be dramatically reduced when companies are vigilant about their cybersecurity. This means companies must regularly patch and update all systems, back up frequently, and continue to strengthen your defenses.
  2. A Common Language – One positive trend and development that we can expect in the New Year is the development and adoption of a common “language,” such as the NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework.
  3. Data Breach Aftermath – It is somewhat impossible to totally eliminate the chance of a data breach, so it is important that companies learn how they can lessen the extent of the damage by handling the aftermath of a breach. The bad situation of a breach is absolutely worsened by doing things like delaying disclosure, failing to patch a known vulnerability, and not informing potential victims. You can learn more about the steps you should take after a breach in our previous blog post.
  4. Testing of Applications and Patchwork – Many of the data breaches in 2017 occurred because of the known and neglected vulnerabilities in security. If you do not take the time to test your security and patches, then you will never really know how secure your data is.
  5. IoT Weakness – The Internet of Things continues to be a weak point in cybersecurity defense even though more internet-connected devices are coming out every day. It’s common for these devices to give attackers easy access via default passwords and a lack of basic security functions. Volumetric attacks are able to be carried out by botnets thanks to the lack of security features. IoT security will continue to be a big security risk in the New Year.
  6. Using Artificial Intelligence – As machines and artificial intelligence become the norm in more and more industries, they will start to play an even large role in cybersecurity. Machine learning and AI can help predict and identify cyberattacks, which can then help security professionals. The pros and cons of these machines, however, must be weighed as they can be exploited by hackers.
  7. A Continued Skills Shortage – The lack of cybersecurity professionals has been and will continue to be a problem for many companies. Luckily, an increase in training can help alleviate this problem. 

What are you going to do to protect your organization from upcoming threats and challenges in the New Year?