UK businesses are falling hostage
Last year, we saw the first major instance of ransomware with the breach of Sony Pictures. The hackers held information and released it slowly while asking Sony for a ransom in order to stop the leak. This year we have seen ransomware take centre stage again as UK businesses increasingly fall victim to attacks. A recent report has revealed over a third of UK companies have either personally been held to ransom by hackers, or know someone that has had their networks infected by ransomware.
BYOD Working Culture
Increasing mobility within the IT infrastructure is something we can’t stop, and we’ve reached a point with mobile working practices that we can’t go back from. Employees now routinely expect this level of flexibility. In order to approach this, the UK Government published their guide on corporate network security, offering advice to organisations on how they can go about protecting themselves in cyberspace. Although met with scepticism, initiatives such as this do in fact represent a necessary and positive step towards thwarting the rising threat of data breaches. As opposed to abandoning BYOD altogether, organisations should be turning their attention to managing this mobile trend by implementing appropriate user access management strategies designed to manage the risk.
Vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things (IoT)
The second half of 2015 has seen successful attempts by white hat hackers, of breaking into machines embedded with Internet of Things technologies. One of the biggest topics has been centred around vulnerabilities in connected car technologies, and other more extreme examples have exposed the potential to hack military drones and rifles. Although we’re yet to see any real life cases of this nature, the threat has been proved in the labs at least and should be a wake-up call to industries that hadn’t considered these risks in their products before.
State Sponsored Cyber Warfare
Cyber-warfare appears to have arrived. Major corporations and some high profile government institutions including the FBI have been targeted and the motives seem to be much more sinister than the usual data breaches. It would seem no industry is safe, and the big question we face as we enter the end of 2015 will be whether hacking tools can be defined as the new weapons of mass digital destruction? Looks like we’ll have to watch this space!
In the meantime, looking back at the last 12 months of developments in the security market it’s safe to say that the biggest transformation has been the heightened level of awareness surrounding data breaches. As we build up to another successful Identity Management event, it will certainly be interesting to watch how these trends will continue to evolve and change how we do business.
Written by Nick Kennelly, Account Manager, EMEA, Courion