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2016 Cyber Security Predictions - By Leon Kuperman

There’s no denying that cyber attacks and data breaches dominated the headlines in 2015. In fact, ZDNet reported that the increased level of cyber attacks on major enterprises likely impacted nearly every American at one point or another last year.

As we look ahead to what’s in store for the remainder of this year, here are my predictions for how the cyber security landscape will evolve in 2016:

Machine Learning – it’s not just a buzzword anymore. If I had a dollar (USD, not that Canadian Looney, sorry my fellow Canucks) every time someone used buzzwords such as deep machine learning, artificial intelligence or big data analytics, well… we could solve world hunger. There is a lot of myth and mystery surrounding these fields and the impact they can have on the cyber security space. 2016 will be the year we see real, practical applications of machine learning in security (and hopefully fewer buzzword droppers).

The cyber security talent shortage will remain. The industry has struggled with finding enough cyber security personnel to meet today’s demand. SOC teams are over-taxed, and there aren’t enough qualified people to assess and act upon the increasingly sophisticated threats companies must navigate and combat. 2016 will be no different, and the continued shortage of talent will pose new challenges for recruiters and enterprises trying to hire the best in the industry.

Attacks on networks and web applications will increase. More specifically, DDoS attacks used as a cover to steal corporate and customer data will become more common, as well as increase in both size and complexity. Threat actors are patient and well funded, resulting in increased penetration into corporate networks where they’ll remain undetected for longer periods of time.

Internet of Things (IoT) device vulnerabilities will see the biggest growth as a threat group. Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected “things” will be in use this year. If you thought the space was already saturated, that’s up 30% from 2015. This continued growth, coupled with consumers’ astounding rate of adoption of such technologies, means IoT devices are set to become a prime target for hackers.

Since one of the largest industries vulnerable to IoT threats is automotive, car manufacturers will need to treat security as a first-class citizen as opposed to add-on technology components. As connected technology modules start influencing core driving and safety features, the industry will go through a transformation period where issues may occur.

Cloud security must make major strides in 2016. Cloud is an area where the industry is behind. There are no solid security standards for multi-cloud deployments and implementations. New solutions will need to be introduced to close the gap between on-premise (mature) security and cloud infrastructure.

What cyber security predictions do you have for the year ahead? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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