As much of our physical world becomes digital, cybercrime is becoming more common than ever. The cybersecurity industry is a rapid landscape where as soon as an exploit is discovered, security teams scramble to find a fix while the hackers try to take advantage of it for profit or sometimes just for fun.

Here are the top 10 cybersecurity trends that are going to be prominent in 2018.

Trend 1: Zero trust is back in focus

Cybersecurity industry will see significant disruption in 2018 with sophisticated cyber attacks forcing organizations to turn to the zero-trust security model.

In this approach, the IT team will adopt the “trust nobody” mindset thereby allowing only explicit user access to company systems. With improved technology like the cloud-based systems, authentication and verification will be near-instantaneous. This approach will enable organizations to reexamine their cybersecurity policies and processes.

Trend 2: Deception technologies become the security enablers of IoT and OT

Operational technology (OT) is increasingly enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) in industries such as automotive and manufacturing. The sensors attached to OT devices are typically light-weight devices with minimal storage capacity, which makes embedding encryption chip into them unfeasible.

Organizations are turning to deception technologies to raise their defenses. Here thousands of fake credentials are introduced into the company’s network, which makes it mathematically impossible for cybercriminals to gain access to a legitimate set of user identities.

Once a fake credential is used, the security team is alerted, and an immediate incident response is initiated. Deception technologies also allow organizations to determine exactly how the cybercriminals gained access to the network and analyze their subsequent pattern of attack.

As a result, deception technologies play a significant role in maintaining security across the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) control system architecture, OT, and wider IoT infrastructure.

Trend 3: Demand for behavioral analytics and AI-based identity will increase

Deep learning technique will enable organizations to take behavioral analytics and AI to a new security level. Through deep learning, the machines will educate themselves and will start undertaking highly granular analyses of users’ activities. This provides organizations with an additional layer of defense over and above standard authentication methods.

In 2018, we will see more security vendors starting to integrate AI into their products to improve their ability to detect cyber threats.

Trend 4: Automated threat-seekers are the new norm

Access to threat intelligence about the latest types of attacks and tactics is critical but is of no use if it’s not utilized to proactively prevent the attack.

Automated threat-seekers are essentially machines that can make decisions on behalf of humans. Enabled by artificial intelligence, they continuously scan an organization’s environment for any changes that might indicate a potential threat. They learn from what they discover and then take proper actions.

Trend 5: Blockchain is the disruptor force

Blockchain in the security realm is an emerging technology that allows organizations to boost cyber security and IAM (Identity and Access Management) features. Blockchain allows a digital ledger of transactions to be created and shared among participants via a distributed network of computers.

The Blockchain system can detect suspicious online behavior and isolate the connection, giving the user restricted access until the transactions have been sanctioned by system administrators or the IT security team.

The typical use case for blockchain includes assisting in forensic investigations. For example, an organization that had confidential intellectual property stolen can take their immutable ledger to court and prove that an unauthorized person extracted or copied a set of data.

Trend 6: New GDPR regulations

On May 25, 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect and according to a Forrester report, as many as 80% of the companies that will be affected by it will not be compliant. The report also claims that 50% of these companies will choose not to comply, as they claim that the cost of compliance outweighs the risks. But companies that are non-compliant could face the hefty fines and the announcement of non-compliant companies on the public website.

Trend 7: Biometrics as part of two-factor authentication

Biometric authentication is becoming more commonplace in everyday technology devices, including mobile phones and tablets. Fingerprints are used to unlock phones for a few years now and the latest is the face recognition technique. This is already facing trouble with reports of phones being unlocked by using masks thus bypassing the recognition software.

This highlight the importance of always relying on two-factor authentications. The best practice is to use biometric authentication as a first layer which may provide instant access to some data, but a passcode should also be needed to unlock deep data. This will keep individuals protected in the event of hackers gaining access to biometric data through photos or forced entry.

Trend 8: Quantum Technology

The onset of quantum computing will strain the existing security measures. Quantum technologies such as high-quality entropy coupled with highly capable key and policy managers can provide a strong security foundation.

Maturing quantum key distribution systems incorporating free-space key exchange protected by the laws of physics and hence protected from quantum computing attacks will provide a strong line of defense against these new quantum computing attacks.

Trend 9: AI powered attacks

AI/Machine Learning (ML) software can learn from the consequences of past events to help predict and identify cybersecurity threats. However, security professionals are concerned that hackers will use AI to launch even more sophisticated cyber-attacks.

For example, AI can be used to assist hackers to crack passwords by narrowing down the number of possible correct passwords based on geography, demographics and other such factors.

Trend 10: More sandbox-evading malware

In recent years, sandboxing technology has become an increasingly popular method for detecting and preventing malware infections. However, cybercriminals are finding more ways to evade this technology. For example, new strains of malware are able to recognize when they are inside a sandbox and wait until they are outside of the sandbox before executing the malicious code.

With the complexities of today’s landscape and the growing cybersecurity skills gap, machine learning is critical to resource allocation. When organizations integrate data sciences into their security program and have machines do what people used to do, they can redeploy human intelligence to focus on bigger, more complex problems.

Orchestration and automation are giving enterprises the ability to contextualize the data so that they can adopt technological advances that help automate processes and be better equipped to defend evolving environments.
Finally, it is important that organizations to work together and share any information they have about potential threats, security innovations, and other data. With increased sharing of information, organizations can maximize their capabilities to withstand material threats to the business, mitigate risk and achieve security growth in 2018.