The year 2016 is the year where security breaches left many top tier companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn, Verizon, and Oracle reconsider their existing security measures. It exposed their security gaps and the innovative ways in which hackers try to extort and steal information from businesses and organizations and forced them to look for new ways to protect themselves.

Digital transformation and security will be the highest priority for both IT and business executives and will shift their focus towards infrastructure, application development and analytics.

Some of the major security predictions and trends for 2017 that will redefine IT infrastructure and focus on several key technologies like Cloud, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Operational Technology (OT), Operational Analytics and Predictive Maintenance, will drive the security landscape.

#1. Internet of malicious things

Internet of Things (IoT) devices like consumer devices, smart meters, medical devices, automobiles and more will continue to be security risk due to their limited computing power and firmware running on them. Organizations will focus on preventing possible attacks from DDoS to Trojans that serve as entry points into enterprise networks for other attacks like ransomware.

#2. Cybercrime becomes first attack point

Emerging cybercrime by hacktivists and hobby hackers using off-the-shelf tools for attacks like web defacement, port scans, damaging attacks through DDoS as a service and Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) will continue to increase. Their attacks could be costly and cause reputational damage to the company brand.

#3. DDoS: Weapon of mass obstruction

DDoS attacks on the IT infrastructure at all levels is becoming the norm for hackers due to the millions of devices that lack even basic security. As, the number of online devices grows, the volume and velocity of these attacks is also increasing, crippling Internet services with denial of service attacks.

#4. Increasing dependence on cloud technology

The increasing adoption of virtual reality, IoT connected devices and wearables by the companies in their IT infrastructure network, are making companies adopt cloud applications and solutions to benefit from its security, compliances, and regulations. They will continue to leverage its distributed, scalable, and high availability features to move their services from traditional corporate data centres.

Enterprises will need to shift their security focus from endpoint devices to users and information accessed across all applications and services to guard against ransomware and other attacks. Cloud Security-as-a-Service will cut the cost of purchasing and maintaining firewalls.

#5. Expect more similar style Wikileaks

Companies can expect more corporate data breaches as hacking of the network infrastructure will allow exploitation of insecure web browsers, mobile devices, servers, and data centres. Dedicated network tools for security will be able to perform smart network segmentation and isolation to block hackers from getting on to the networks.

#6. Focus on open source security

Open source infrastructure technologies reduce development costs, promotes innovation, speeds time to market and increases productivity. At the same time, it increases security risks due to infrequent security patch updates, that allows the open source vulnerabilities to be exploited by hackers against sites, applications, and IoT devices.

#7. Betting on Cyber Insurance

As attacks become more common and damages more widespread, organizations are moving towards cyber insurance as a safer bet. It will be seen as a solution for handling cyber risks in 2017. As per the new Market research report the global cyber insurance market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 28% from 2016 to 2022. It will focus on prevention, better detection and incident response capabilities through developing programs that drive better security hygiene.

#8. Cybersecurity and Ransomware remain in the forefront

Almost all enterprise hacks begin with phishing, forcing organizations to reframe the way they approach cybersecurity and network security. Ransomware will continue to increase, evolve, get stealthier and use automation to attack the cloud, IoT devices, critical infrastructure, and mission-critical servers. In addition, malware that not only encrypts files but leaves code in place will increase.

#9. Privacy laws under review

The legal conflict between Apple and the FBI, shifted focus to privacy laws, information, security, and the use of government surveillance for tracking alleged terrorists and activists. 2017 will focus on the laws and regulations that will decide whether encryption backdoors to devices that require encryption keys to unlock them, are required. Any action in this area should weigh any short-term benefits against the long-term impacts and not pose security threats.

#10. Skills gap? Use automation

Organizations will look to automation to overcome the security skills gap, so that skilled workers are spared from wasting time on mundane, manual responsibilities and regularly performed duties. This should give security professionals more time to focus on what really matters and receive fewer notifications with more security relevance and find the truly malicious ones.