2016 IT Security Predictions

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it security manchesterAs we start the new year, we’ve been taking a look through the technical press to see what the key predictions are for IT security this year.

Firstly if we look back at 2015, the top 3 issues identified by Checkpoint were:

  • a rapid growth in unknown malware
  • increased mobile threats
  • critical vulnerabilities in widely used platforms such as iOS and Android.

As you know, all of these predictions were seen in abundance last year and caused many major headaches to both businesses and consumers alike. It seemed every day saw a major loss of data and we’ve started this year with the BBC website being taken offline by a “denial of service” attack.

So the main lesson we believe you should take from this; don’t believe it won’t happen to you – it will. You need to  prepare your recovery plan and test it so that when an attack does occur your team knows how to react. This will ensure the issue does not become a huge problem and cost  you and your business a lot of expense and downtime.

So what are people saying about 2016?

  1. SMEs will continue to be targeted by general malware style attacks but larger organisations will be specifically targeted with custom-made attacks. These will be aimed at breaching the security systems of specific large organisations.
  2. Mobiles give access to both business and personal data so will continue to be the focus of new attacks as their use is now so commonplace and they can be harder for IT departments to control.
  3. The “internet of things” will open up a whole new set of devices to attack and make many more network access points available to hackers.
  4. Industrial processes are being targeted already and this will expand. Factories use distributed computer control systems that are widely connected into accounting and other business systems and attacks on these can cost huge amounts and shut down production.
  5. Windows 10 arrived in 2015 and will no doubt be the focus for some hackers. Its widespread adoption means that it will attract more attention than Windows 8.
  6. Cars have been hacked in 2015, so as with other every day items that are becoming more IT dependent, they also become more likely targets for malicious events.

What can you do?

Audit and simplify are the two key activities we recommend.

Take a close look at your entire IT estate and include in that any staff personal items that are connecting to your network, to see where you stand today. Then standardise your security approach across all devices to make management simpler. Using a consistent, well-tested and robust approach will minimise the risk but not eliminate it so don’t forget that recovery plan as well.

For help with your IT security planning, please give us a call to arrange an initial discussion.

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