Cybersecurity Trends in 2016

The digital age has brought along with it ever-more sophisticated cyberattacks. Although historically these attacks have often made big waves – leaving behind trails of obvious breaches – today’s attacks are stealthier, and often go unnoticed until long after they have begun. With so many unknown threats, many businesses feel unsure about their ability to protect themselves. In fact, according to UBM’s 2016 Cybersecurity Trend Report, a total of 63% admitted that they were not confident they could stop a data breach, and 16% were not confident they could prevent one in the first place. As we’ve seen, even big corporations such as Target are not immune to cyberattacks. Because detection is more difficult, business owners are turning to more sophisticated detection and prevention methods to identify and curb unwanted activities.

A Look at Last Year’s Cybersecurity Trends

According to an October 2015 global study of 252 companies in seven countries, the following trends were identified:

  • On average, businesses spent more per data breach in 2015 than they did in 2014.
  • The average annualized costs of data breaches for U.S. companies were around $15 million, with the average cost of a data breach landing around $21,000 per day.
  • Cyberattacks took an average of 46 days to resolve.
  • The most financially impactful crimes were committed by company insiders.
  • The majority of recent attacks are more persistent, stealthy, and targeted.
  • Cyber attackers tend to collect logins via phishing campaigns and engineering tricks.
  • It can take up to several weeks to detect a data breach.
  • Common attacks include redirecting website visitors to malicious sites, sending malicious code scripts, and reading or modifying database data.

Increased Focus on Protection

As cyberattacks continue to pose a real threat, businesses are allocating more funds towards security measures such as application, data, and perimeter security technologies and audit logs. The majority of savvy businesses spend additional funds on products such as firewalls and antivirus tools to help them beef up their security, and for good reason – there are many trending factors driving the uptick in cybersecurity strategies within dutiful organizations.

According to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, organized crime groups focus on web applications more than any other applications; leading to an increase in web application security, such as the strengthening of PCI compliance standards. Officials are analyzing government involvement and privacy legislation, incorporating new standards, and reviewing the lines to determine where privacy stops and national security begins.

Aggregation of big data is another dangerous new security concern, as the sharing and manipulation of large amounts of data becomes commonplace – especially within the healthcare sector. In response to the risks associated with big data sharing, 2016 will likely see a drive for new strategies to keep corporate and personal information safe. We can also anticipate heightened efforts to retain security and lower the risk of data breaches surrounding The Internet of Things, in light of our increased technological mobility.

As 2016 ticks along, cyberattacks will continue to increase in their sophistication and stealth, running neck and neck with businesses working to stay ahead of the curve. The 2016 business must come to terms with the unnerving possibility that they may already be a victim of a cyberattack and not even know it yet. Although it may not seem pertinent to work on security if an organization has yet to experience a data breach, a lack of urgency could spell disaster for those who haven’t locked their back doors. Organizations in 2016 must work to become more prevention focused – by strengthening their security technology, system monitoring, and staff management and confidentiality, to name a few.