It’s that time of year where many predictions are made about the year ahead. 2017 has seen to rise of ransomware, shown additional vulnerabilities associated with IoT and further big name breaches have taken place. As many organisations look to 2018, they will likely look to learn from the previous year as well as keep an eye on what occurs in the next 12 months. Below are some of the trends that might present themselves in 2018 as attitudes and techniques evolve from another eventful year for cybersecurity.
Organisations will seek a new formula to calculate risk
Recent high profile breaches suggest that some organisations may still be taking a gamble when it comes to cybersecurity maturity. Our recent Risk:Value report estimates it takes upwards of $1million to recover from a breach – though that does not take into account less tangible costs such as customer trust and brand reputation. As examples of high profile breaches continue, and the costs of an impact escalate, organisations will need to consider new metrics to calculate acceptable risk. This may not mean they change their risk profile immediately but it will, at least, mean they are more aware of their exposure to breaches and their likely financial impact.
Mistakes will still happen
Not all the high profile breaches in 2017 were due to cybercrime in the first instance. Many are still as a result of poor data handling. This is likely to continue until organisations implement processes and procedures for good data management across the whole of the organisation, and measure their employees against them. 2018 could see a greater emphasis on incident response planning and processes and potentially see cybersecurity linked more widely to overall HR policies and employee objectives in an effort to install a culture of awareness and responsibility throughout the organisation.
Cybersecurity to play a greater role in digital projects
It has been described by some as the next industrial revolution and one thing is for sure, the rapid pace of the digital era is leading to digital disruption and a huge rise in digital transformation projects. In the excitement of using new technologies for competitive advantage or indeed the fear of being left behind by digital applications, it is perhaps easy to see how cybersecurity could get overlooked in the race to take first mover advantage. As recent high profile examples illustrate, this could be a costly mistake. To truly maximise the opportunities that digital transformation provides, 2018 may see cybersecurity playing a crucial role in unlocking the true value of these projects. If consumers have confidence that the new digital applications they use offer both benefits and security, they are more likely to adopt them – and continue to use them.
The end of “passive trust”
2017 has seen huge breaches of customer data, ranging from names, contact details and financial information. Understandably, this has been met with anger from customers who trusted those organisations with their personal information. There is a recognition that personal data has value – not just to the organisation it is provided too, but also for the purposes of cybercrime. GDPR will of course help sharpen the focus of organisations in regards to the management of personal information, though 2018 is likely to see a more weary consumer who will be less likely to freely share their personal data, or perhaps, provide minimal or less accurate information in the first place.
Quality assurance will need assured quality
Quality assurance is an essential part of consumer trust and is especially important for mission critical applications and precision products. With the increase of operational technology (OT)and quality control systems becoming digitized, the risk for compromise from cyber criminals heightens. If the quality process is compromised, the consequences could be catastrophic. 2018 is likely to see in the adoption of security controls to protect vulnerable but critical systems as they become increasingly revolutionized by new, disruptive technologies that drive efficiency gains for organisations.