Cybersecurity: Where Will Future Threats Come from?

As technology evolves and develops, more and more of our lives are being conducted online. With more company and personal data being stored online, there is an even greater threat from cyber-crime than ever before, meaning that cybersecurity will become a key issue for every company.

A Study by Michel Cukier at the University of Maryland showed that a device connected to the internet is attacked by a hacker on average 2,244 times a day, which is once every 39 seconds. This has prompted businesses and cybersecurity developers to adapt and create new software to counter the ever growing number of cyber-attacks.

Due to the ever evolving nature of the technology industry, the future for cybersecurity is hard to predict, but experts have a general idea of the direction it’s headed. So, although they aren’t certain, heeding these predictions could help to future proof your business and other online activities from cyber-crime.


Artificial Intelligence will play a pivotal role

AI has been developing in many industries over the last few years and has now become a vital tool for many companies, as it can be used for automating tasks, crunching data and making decisions much faster than humans can.

Whilst AI can make functions within a business more efficient, new technologies inherently come with cybersecurity risks, as there are potential bugs and exploits which are not understood at the time of release. This means that as there is more extensive use of AI, it becomes a major target for cyber-criminals. Therefore, cybersecurity software and personnel will have to develop tools and techniques to detect and counteract cyber-attacks aimed at AI.

Although AI will give hackers a new way to attack organisations, AI can also be used by cybersecurity developers to simulate cyber-attacks to highlight weak points and address these areas before they can be taken advantage of, and put a stop to an attack early on.

Since many companies do not have existing systems with the capability to keep up with ever evolving cybersecurity threats and human oversight alone will not be adequate to combat cyber-crime, there is a need for capable automated systems that can detect, monitor and prevent cyber-attacks in real time.


5G will provide hackers with even more targets

5G will enable billions of new devices to be connected to the internet, whilst providing more speed, density and efficiency. The increased number of connected devices will provide hackers with a much larger network of connected devices to target from remote sensors to self-driving cars.

The higher levels of digitalisation within the 5G network will also make it an attractive target to hackers. Whilst previous networks used hub-and-spoke designs which went through hardware choke points where cyber-hygiene could be conducted, 5G networks use digital routers, denying the potential for chokepoint inspection and control. Higher level functions are also being virtualized in software which used to be performed by physical appliances, these activities are based in common language of Internet Protocol and operating systems which can be used by cybercriminals.

Therefore, companies must adjust and invest in cybersecurity to combat potential increased cyberattacks due to 5G.


As technology develops, the number of hackers will increase

With global education standards improving in emerging markets, unless the emerging market’s economies develop alongside it and support the technology markets, many workers who are skilled in technology will be forced to turn to cybercrime. As technology develops, hackers will have access to more sophisticated tools, and the evolution of technology, such as AI and 5G as mentioned above, will provide hackers with a larger target and more vulnerabilities.


Developing and recruiting cybersecurity talent will be essential

With cyber-attacks increasing every year, small and medium size companies could face being targeted more as they lack information security knowledge and recourses. As technology continues to advance, companies will need to take cybersecurity more seriously and spend more on security software to protect themselves.

There is only so much cybersecurity software can do though. Larger security systems need personnel with adequate cybersecurity skills to run and implement protective applications, otherwise nothing is achieved. The issue is, at the moment there is a shortage of workers with such skills at the moment. It will be expensive for companies to hire and retain cybersecurity experts, but if they choose not to, they risk becoming a target for cyber-criminals. Many companies may choose to invest in cybersecurity training for their current workers, or offer courses to allow more people to develop cybersecurity skills.


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