So here we are in Part 3 and the final installment of the “Information Security Threats Predictions 2016” series. As promised, some light at the end of the tunnel.
Investment in security is on the rise. Companies and individuals are becoming more educated on security threats. It’s actually necessary, but also very encouraging. As such, both companies and individuals are making additional investments in cyber security.
The times are changing and people no longer have the “it won’t happen to me” attitude. It likely already has happened to you in some form, be it identity theft, credit card fraud (who hasn’t had their number stolen in a breach over the last couple of years?), or some type of scam. So the public is arming itself with knowledge and products to help keep their identities and money safer.
Firms will be innovative. Often regulation is not desired. However, it’s a fact of life and there is likely to be more. This means those providing products and service will innovate and create new ways of meeting regulations and generally trying to stay ahead of the bad guys. This benefits both companies and individuals. So be on the lookout for exciting new technologies and services to meet these needs.
Collaboration among organizations and countries is improving. We have seen the FBI work with Microsoft and others to put the brakes on the distribution of Reveton ransomware. U.S. and foreign law enforcement also worked together to seize command and control servers of the CryptoLocker ransomware, and to disrupt the Gameover Zeus botnet. Although the criminals are still at large, this collaboration has managed to keep that botnet from encrypting more computers. In addition, Russian security company, Kaspersky has worked with law enforcement in The Netherlands to create a tool for decrypting computers that have been infected ransomware. They have made these tools available to the public with instructions on how to use them. And it’s free!
In addition, international legislators are working together to improve security worldwide. The European Union and the United States face many similar cybercrime issues. Therefore, the two have formed a working group intended to create standards for risk management, increase cybersecurity awareness, and promote the Budapest Convention (the first international treaty which attempts to address computer crime and the Internet on a worldwide basis).
In the words of Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.” All of these are progress and are positive. In addition, remember those disappearing acts? Regular phishing in email messages is decreasing, but phishing via instant messaging and social media is on the rise. More good news is that the public is more prepared for it than ever.
As for passwords becoming a thing of the past; it’s happening slowly, in favor of biometrics, for one. However, this means we will need to learn more about security of biometrics and other methods that replace them. And passwords are likely to still hang around for a while, but we can look forward to not having to remember so many of them.
We still need to stay on our toes. It’s not time to let our guards down. It’s an opportunity to learn more and get the hang of what it takes to protect ourselves in this cyber world we now live in.
But don’t despair. It’s all doable. Just don’t stop creating strong passwords and phrases, and make sure you change them often for each online account. Continue being careful about clicking links and attachments in email messages. Keep an eye on your credit reports and payment card charges and report anything strange right away. Research software and apps before downloading them and pass on good Internet use habits to others, including children. After all, sometimes that five-year-old knows more about new technology than we do, so teach them early and they will be well on their way to avoiding becoming victims too.
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