In 2017, hackers continued to prove they can infiltrate even the largest of organizations, wreaking havoc on millions of people and causing billions in damages.
In the wake of massive attacks like WannaCry and Equifax, businesses everywhere are realizing that hackers are only getting smarter and more creative. To keep them at bay, we have to get smarter, too – levering cutting-edge technologies to secure data.
We predict these five technologies will be all the buzz in 2018, as we battle to stay a few steps ahead of hackers. Security experts will find new and more effective ways to leverage these technologies, and businesses will be willing to invest in them.
Developed more than eight years ago to secure Bitcoin transactions, blockchain technology has never been hacked. The technology is secure because it allows database information to be distributed and shared but not copied. The digital information exists in many locations, not just one, so there’s no centralized version to hack.
Because of this, banking, finance and other industries with strict security requirements quickly warmed to using blockchain technology. Now other industries are taking notice, and blockchain startups are popping up all over the place. Even giant corporations like Lockheed Martin are investing in blockchain technology.
In addition to fund transfers and payments, blockchain technology is increasingly being used to verify user identities and devices without requiring a password – removing the human element that can compromise security. But the possibilities for blockchain technology are much broader, and we expect to see it touch all sorts of industries in 2018.
Building off blockchain technology, zero trust is a security model rejecting the old idea that everything inside an organization’s network can be trusted. All resources must be accessed securely through a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), no matter where the user is located, and access to data is limited to the least amount necessary for each user.
This “never trust” model – which also applies to servers, networks and endpoints, not just users – is increasingly believed to be the best way to secure a network, particularly when employees are spread across different geographic locations. Security experts predict the model will be widely applied in 2018 by companies large and small.
Employee monitoring software is not new technology, but it’s increasingly being implemented as businesses finally understand the security risks insiders pose. Some 60 percent of cyber attacks are carried out by insiders, IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index found, and three-quarters of those are the result of malicious intent.
Monitoring tools analyze trends in employee behavior to determine which security policies are being violated, and by which employees. They allow you to write rules that prevent risky behavior such as sending confidential information by email or printing sensitive documents – vastly reducing the likelihood of an inside attack.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies move further into the mainstream, they are increasingly being used to thwart attacks. The ability to process huge quantities of data makes AI and ML invaluable for detecting suspicious behavior and fixing vulnerabilities. The speed is light years beyond what humans could do.
Unfortunately, hackers are using the same technology to support their crimes. The bad guys are tapping these powerful tools to attack and explore victims’ networks, taking advantage of vulnerabilities faster than they can be patched.
The sheer amount of data that is handled in our digital world wildly complicates cyber security, and businesses are realizing that they need more powerful methods of collecting and processing data from multiple sources. Enter advanced analytics, which gives organizations a complete picture of what’s happening in their IT environment.
In particular, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) are being used to provide visibility into IT infrastructure roles and privileges, as well as activities that threaten data security. As the volume of data continues to grow in 2018, UEBA adoption is expected to grow along with it.
Isaac Kohen is the founder and CEO of Teramind (https://www.teramind.co/), an employee monitoring and insider threat prevention platform that detects, records, and prevents, malicious user behavior in addition to helping teams to drive productivity and efficiency. Isaac can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with Isaac on social media: LinkedIn, IT Security Central and Twitter @TeramindCo.