From the ransom ware attack on advertising multinational WPP and hacking of UK’s National Health Service to the data breach of HBO’s servers and theft of restaurant search app Zomato’s customer data, 2017 is officially the year of cyber attacks. The ugly side of information technology has finally emerged.
What was once a part of sci-fi movies has become a reality of the world. More and more companies are investing millions to secure their data. But as technology evolves, so will the nature of attacks.
While it is hard to predict the future with accuracy, there are a few trends which will define information security in the near future.
In a few years, a majority of companies and businesses will embrace the cloud as the best channel for their data storage. The rise in cloud acceptance will make it susceptible to a lot of cyber-attacks. Information security agencies, as well as companies, will need to come up with guidelines and safety processes to ensure cloud storage remains secure.
In a data-driven and post-truth world, it is quite easy to influence major government and private sector decisions with fudged numbers. Hackers can doctor data (numbers) to influence people on voting and spending choices, companies on marketing strategy, and governments on fund allocations. Companies and governments will need to come up with applications that can monitor any fraudulent data to maintain not just their reputation but law and order as well.
In the next decade, most if not all people will conduct their activities via smartphone applications. Shopping, ordering food, chatting, and even business; everything will become mobile. The major point of security concern will be duplicate applications, one which mirrors an original and is a big safety risk. Developers and manufacturers will need to program their applications and app stores in ways that they cannot be copied or duplicates aren’t available online.
In a digital world, privacy is often blurred. Who decides where privacy begins or ends? It’s the question which has seen many a battle already. A few years ago, Apple refused to unlock an iPhone for the FBI citing the breach of an individual’s privacy. Such battles and arguments will become common. What is needed is an effective and contemporary legislation mentioning the meaning of the right to privacy online.
A young kid, wears glasses, has a hoodie, a bit introverted but genius level intellect. The room is dark and the only source of light is the one emanating from multiple monitors filled with code. The kid stretches his/her fingers, perks his/her glasses and types in a frenzy for hours without moving an inch and voila! A bank’s server is hacked. This is the Hollywood stereotype of a hacker.
In reality, this does not happen. It is often the innocent users who are unaware of safe information technology practices and invariably make themselves vulnerable. Educating people on safe practices regarding computer and smartphone use can decrease successful hacking efforts by a long way.