Cyber-attacks, data breaches and other illegitimate online activities have increased in their presence. Security experts predict that in coming years, it’s going to worse with the introduction of AI and Quantum Computing. Organizations know that hackers are always in hunt for their data or to gain illegal access to resources. Security professionals are trying hard to keep away cyber criminals from network and confidential data every single hour.
Sadly, security advocates don’t just have to fight data breaches but also tackle vulnerabilities with every emerging technology. There are few technologies that are giving a tough time to security experts. These technologies are now making data more vulnerable than ever before. These technologies aren’t bugged but plot against security professionals and agencies. They certainly increase or produce new security challenges for them.
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These are some trends that can be give a tough time to security experts and ethical hackers. We have tried to disclose what security challenges these emerging technologies possess through this article.
Trend #1: End-to-End Encryption
End-to-end encryption method helps two devices communicate securely with each other. Through End-to-end encryption, conversations between devices are invisible to everyone. Thus, it helps to stop the most infamous man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.
Now when we apply End-to-End encryption, we only think about MITM attacks. However, you may don’t know that there are many essential security implementations and software like payload detonation devices, IDS solutions, next-gen firewalls etc. that use MITM techniques.
Precisely, they apply DPI (deep packet inspection) to analyze data contents of packets on various networks. For those who don’t know, the DPI technique scans for intrusions, malware, and viruses to make networks secure. Now End-to-End encryption does reduce the effect of DPI technique and stops it from detecting suspicious content in the data packets. Global security agencies have detected this flaw in End-to-End encryption but many organizations still lag to understand the problem.
It also invites anti-social elements to exploit the technology. For example, ISIS used Telegram to avoid detection.
Trend #2: BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) Culture
The BYOD culture has its own advantages and can certainly increase employee performance. Hence, it encourages firms to adopt BYOD culture. But the issue with BYOD is that it’s difficult to implement exhaustive security controls over each employee device as you can do with organizational assets. For instance, security experts can’t install security software on them, cannot impose remote monitoring, remotely wipe data in case the gadget is stolen or lost, remotely manage records etc. Additionally, professionals cannot implement multi-factor authentication schemes on each device, track event logs etc. for further analysis to prevent future cyber risks.
As such trends are inevitable for organizations; security teams have to cultivate and promote more advanced approaches that assure security.
Trend #3: Cloud Computing
Almost every sector has implemented the cloud technology. Either through well-executed strategies to choose the most efficient service or without any insights, firms are anyways shifting to cloud services. According to a report from Netskope, an average organization uses over 1000 cloud services that also includes shadow IT applications that employees use without the permission or organizations.
However, talking about organizational data security, security professionals require to tackle cloud complexity. It includes handling the infrastructure of multiple clouds as well as managing multiple cloud applications. Even the most complex companies have a hard time embracing multiple clouds and keeping data secure at the same time. Only few companies are able to tackle the situation efficiently.
It’s time for organizations to shift their focus to data protection rather than striving for system protection. Also, many companies are worried about outsourced IT environment security. Howbeit, security agencies advise to follow a data-centric approach to implement protect data.
Trend #4: Union of OT and IT
There are many advantages due to the union between Operational Technology (OT) and IT. Organizations can achieve greater clarity in their infrastructure. Moreover, devices when included into the organizational security fabric, helps to improve infrastructure visibility and information security. Further, these devices can eliminate use of passwords in the system by providing details like device information, location data and behavioral patterns. However, the alliance of Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology has expanded the effects of digital threats. It contemplates that digital threats will also have physical impact. As a result, companies are trying to understand the evolving risks due to digital threats. They are re-considering about how security threats can physically affect companies.
Maurice Stebila, Chief Information Security Officer of Harman International (Subsidiary group of Samsung Electronics’) says, “With all of these devices interconnected, there is going to be a surge of cybercriminal activity that will seek out easy targets of opportunity, and only because there has been this carefree approach to cybersecurity. The convenience of these products will be a major cybersecurity nightmare.”
Alberto Yépez, Managing Director at Trident Capital adds, “As soon as you connect IT and OT together, the OT network will face compromise. Your cooling system, your electrical system, your security system [all] run on separate OT networks, and when you connect those through IT networks, it can become a toxic combination.”
It doesn’t matter if a firm aims at consumer and IT like IoT devices or deals with manufacturing and infrastructure such as creating manufacturing control systems. Nowadays almost every electronic gadget can be connected to the Internet. Hence it has become convenient for hackers to execute massive attacks with the help of botnets.
Note: – Mirai Botnet attack used large number of IoT devices to produce a massive DDoS attack on Dyn DNS servers. It provided stopped operations of many high-profile websites like Netflix, GitHub, Twitter, Reddit etc.
Trend #5: Big Data
Anyone with little experience in the IT sector knows that there is a huge amount of data that should be analyzed efficiently. There are several machines in an infrastructure that generate too much data. These data need to be verified and it should be ensured by security professionals that there are no alerts of cyberattacks. In this process, security professionals have to deal with false positives many times. Therefore unintentionally, big data increases security challenges for security experts.
Trend #6: AI And Quantum Computing
Malware is evolving since the time when the first malware was created. However, threat signature detection methods like IDS (Intrusion Detection System) and antimalware catch and isolate malware or malicious activities using signatures. But with the arrival of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing being developed, security experts predict that malware-coding methods will evolve a lot. Sadly, threat signature based software and all existing security techniques will have to suffer a ramp down due to this advancement. Hacking techniques will be more lethal than ever before. Current signature-oriented detection methods will fail to perform like they used to. Security professionals will feel like functioning in the dark as they will not be able to see the threats unless they also work upon developing skills on AI and Quantum Computing.
Trend #7: Bitcoin and Blockchain
Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency has brought a powerful technology to limelight. It’s Blockchain, the ledger system. Blockchain allows cryptocurrency or any other data to be circulated in the network after it is integrated to Blockchain system.
Each block of data can’t be modified without affecting the stability of later blocks. Therefore, you can check the uprightness of information. Blockchain can be applied in sectors where accurate and efficient auditing of log events is inevitable. Thomas Hardjono, CTO of connection science group at MIT adds, “Twenty years later and we are still struggling with gaining visibility into what is going on in the network. The first, most valuable use case for Blockchain in the next two years is basic logging and auditing. Internally, the Blockchain system may allow you to provide better logging of events.”
There are some industries that are experimenting with Blockchain. For example, according to an IBM report operated in partnership with Economist Intelligence Unit, 9 in 10 government agencies wish to invest in Blockchain to manage and store financial and civil records in 2018. Government leaders want Blockchain to decrease the cost and time related with regulatory compliances. Blockchain should end the involvement of third party entities in managing various civil records like vehicle registration, property titles, business licenses etc. Moreover, firms can take advantage of the transparency of technology. Blockchain is also going to overcome logistics and transportation industry soon.
Although different organizations both government and private are making the most out of Blockchain, the technology is still at its infancy. Blockchain can be perceived as a science that will advance in the upcoming years but the technology is upsetting to specific sectors of the economy. In addition, security professionals must be knowledgeable about Blockchain as it is also used by cyber criminals other than business people. Furthermore, they can produce security techniques for the future. When talking about the still-developing Blockchain technology, CISOs are required to build a team that can rationalize like hackers. They need to gain an upper hand in finesse and skill sets to protect technologies that are sophisticated like Blockchain.
These are the seven trending technologies that can challenge data security. They can outsmart the current security mechanisms even if they worked well in the past. Security experts need to brainstorm and come up with new solutions to protect organizational data.