It’s already well documented that the frequency of Cyber Crimes is on the rise.
Looking back, the introduction of lockdowns, curfews and tougher legislation led to a drastic decrease in traditional crime statistics worldwide. Good news, right? Well, not entirely, as with this decrease in people going outside came an increase in staying online and, sadly, a similarly steady rise in Cyber Crime.
Worryingly, experts predict that by the end of 2021, we can expect one cyberattack incident every 11 seconds (Source: Technewsworld online, 2021). This number is in fact double that of 2019 (one every 19 seconds), and four times the rate of just five years ago (one in 40 seconds). A lot can change in a short space of time, right?
Sadly, this rapid increase in Cyber Crimes worldwide comes at a substantial cost for businesses involved – not just, as you may expect, in the damages incurred, but also due to the added expense of additional security measures. Worldwide, Cyber Attacks dealt an estimated $1 trillion worth of damages (around 1% of the Global GDP) in 2020 alone. This number is on the rise and, as such, Cyber Security has now become a fundamental component of any brand hoping to embrace the Digital Revolution yet remain unscathed.
So, what does tomorrow hold in the world of Cyber Security?
Truth be told, the concept is still relatively new, and only in recent years has it been recognised as its own entity and independent of traditional IT Security. Gone are the days where your industry standard Firewall and a licensing fee paid by the tech guy was sufficient protection for your organisation.
The world of technology is ever evolving and, as such, the threats as well as the measures used to negate them are in a constant state of evolution. Not every new innovation and solution sticks around for good (just look at Blackberries as an example) but, what is indisputable, is that technology is rapidly becoming increasingly intertwined with our daily lives.
From conversations to banking, dating, shopping and watching movies, technology is impacting devices and services that weren’t previously considered part of the IT infrastructure. We’ve seen smart fridges and TVs connected to the Internet – many fail to realise that they present areas of potential weakness which a hacker can dispute. Our first prediction is that as our reliance on the Internet increases (as it’s bound to), so too will we begin to adopt new, all-encompassing security solutions which cater for multiple devices. We also foresee a world wherein the future of Cyber Security is less concerned with protecting the individual device (although that is important), but rather our Data and information, wherever it may be held.
That being said, the most glaringly obvious Cyber Security challenge today deals with remote and hybrid workspaces. Like it or not, the concept is here, and looks likely to be a part of our reality for the foreseeable future.
This creates a haven for Cyber Criminals, who pounce on areas of weakness and vulnerability before you even know what hit you. No longer can companies or individuals assume that the corporate level office security is sufficient – we need to, as individuals, account for misconfigured systems or unsuspecting employees who may unknowingly put your organisation at risk.
More and more, companies and organisations are ushering in a “zero-trust” mindset, which necessitates that all associates approach any engagement as if they were a security risk. It’s a well-documented fact that Cyber Criminals have been preying on remote workers and, with the concept not going away any time soon, you can expect more stringent internal company policies and a larger emphasis on home Cyber Safety.
The unfortunate reality is that Cyber Attacks will become more targeted.
The downside of being locked down is that, while the majority of us were wishing for Nando's, picking up some extra weight or learning a new skill, Cyber Criminals used that time to hone their abilities and develop new methods of infiltration – meaning vigilance is more important now than ever before.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as the Security industry has not taken these challenges lying down. In fact, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that, globally, people will be spending $174 billion on Cyber Security alone by the year 2024 (Source: Fieldeffect.com, online). Cyber Security represents one of the largest and fastest growing online market segments worldwide and, with the increase in awareness and breaches, you can only expect this number to grow.
But what comes next?
Well, by looking ahead, we can immediately notice a few key talking points in the world of CS.
If you feel like you’re reading more about digital threats now, it’s because people are more aware of this very real danger and (finally!) giving it the attention it deserves. We foresee a significantly increased focus on prevention, education and awareness across the board. As of yet, not many organisations have adequate response planning in the event of a breach, and we anticipate that this will change as incident preparedness and response guidelines become more common.
Furthermore, the introduction of new regulatory concerns has ensured that organisations are now forced to be accountable and responsible for their Data Security. It’s very likely that, in time, there becomes a minimum Security threshold for businesses to maintain, and we expect mandatory training, audits and compliance assessments.
Truth be told, it’s hard to predict the future (if we could, we’d be in that business instead of Cyber Security), but one thing is certain – the rate at which threats are evolving will evoke a similarly powerful response. We predict more stringent protocols, a greater focus on awareness and, most of all, Vox leading the way when it comes to keeping you safe.