2016 was the year when many data breaches either occurred or came to light. And it’s not just the large enterprises and major corporations who were under fire. Businesses of all sizes – from the local bookstore to the mom-and-pop restaurant – were victims of cyber attackers.
As cyber threats continue to multiply and become more sophisticated and advanced, it’s essential that businesses take proactive steps to secure their data in 2017. What cybersecurity changes and issues can businesses expect in 2017?
We’re sharing the top cybersecurity predictions for 2017 to help your business get ahead of security threats and prevent catastrophic data loss.
Prediction #1: Demand for cybersecurity skills will continue to rise
A global shortage of cybersecurity skills has left companies vulnerable to the most dangerous security threats. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled, and the number of job postings has increased by 74% over the past 5 years.
Driven by a need to improve data security in an evolving threat landscape, companies are looking to hire in-house, skilled cybersecurity experts to manage risk more effectively. In fact, the demand for information security professionals is expected to grow by 53% by 2018.
If you’re looking to hire cybersecurity experts in the new year, you might find yourself competing with local businesses for a small supply pool. Instead, think about working with a security solutions provider who can offer the expertise and comprehensive solutions you’re looking for.
Prediction #2: Ransomware will remain king
Earlier this week, we talked about ransomware and how this rapidly evolving threat will continue rising in 2017. In case you didn’t read this blog (we’ll forgive you eventually), you can find it here.
As a quick refresher, ransomware is a complex and advanced threat that revokes access to data and systems and demands a ransom from the victim. In just the first three months of 2016, the total costs of ransomware attacks added up to $209 million.
McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions Report forecasts that ransomware will continue to be a major threat in 2017, only subsiding in the second half of the year. To effectively combat this threat, companies should back up data consistently and train employees to recognize warning signs.
Prediction #3: Internet of Things (IoT) will increase risk of cyberattacks
The Internet of Things, called IoT for short, is growing rapidly. There will be more than 24 billion internet-connected devices installed globally by 2020. And, according to Gartner, more than half of major business processes and systems will use some form of IoT by 2020.
You might be asking, “What exactly is IoT?” The Internet of Things can be loosely defined as the interconnecting of all devices, computers, tablets, phones and so on. A number of businesses are finding that IoT helps them create new efficiencies in their IT environment, one of the many reasons why they jump on board.
But companies aren’t the only ones that love IoT; hackers are also fans. Over the years, security experts have exposed security weaknesses in everything from internet-connected vehicles to smart fridges. In 2013, a hacker gained access to Target’s network through internet-connected heating and air conditioning systems and compromised 40 million credit card numbers.
As IoT adoption increases, businesses should keep an eye out for any gaps in protection. Implement a robust security solution to catch any potential issues before hackers do. If you’re working with limited resources or staff, enlist the help of a trusted partner who can help you design, plan, implement and support your end-to-end security solution.
Is your business ready for next year’s data security threats? Are you confident your existing data security plan will keep your data safe and secure? Learn how to safeguard your data against data breaches, natural disasters and a host of other security threats with our checklist, 10-Step Plan for Secure Data in 2017.