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Executive Viewpoint 2015 Prediction: My Digital Shield – Top 3 Cyber Security Predictions

Given all the headlines surrounding data breaches this year, it’s safe to say that cyber security is top of mind and will likely stay that way heading into 2015. So, as we close the books on 2014, what will the New Year bring for cyber security?

The New Face of Malware

Malware is adopting a new face, becoming more intelligent and difficult to prevent, and even lying dormant for years before being detected, as was the case with Regin malware. As the cyber world is growing smarter, it’s now filled with criminals who have the ability to create malware with devastating effects that will pay dividends from halfway across the world.

While malware is becoming more intelligent, very few platforms have earned a reputation for being extremely complex. The greatest threat is not the emergence of increasingly advanced malware, rather a breakout of new methods with multi-stage and multi-device infection steps, including mobile devices and appliances.

The Opportunity for Breach Expands

Years ago, cyber hackers were limited to attacking just a server and computer, given the simplicity of technology back then. With everything looking and acting the same, it was a pretty boring world for both hackers and security experts. However, in today’s day and age with new devices hitting the market almost daily, cyber criminals are having a field day with hundreds of new opportunities to successfully carry out a breach.

Every device, tablet, or IP-enabled system is a target for hackers. Even common household items such as a baby monitor, child’s toy, or scanner/printer are all devices that can serve as an open door for cyber thieves to welcome themselves into a network. Even vehicles are now susceptible to attack with the latest advances, including navigation and voice instruction. The emergence of new and more advanced technologies is only expanding the window of opportunity for cyber criminals.

Cyber Criminals Shift Their Targets

As cyber security has become top of mind and hackers are becoming more sophisticated, protection is a must for businesses and individuals alike. Yet, who is purchasing and using the high-cost products on the market? The large enterprises that have the budgets to protect themselves.

So where does that leave the 70 million SMBs that can’t increase their security budgets to $1 million a year? 2015 will be the year that cyber criminals shift gears and hone in on the SMBs, creating the potential for even more breaches given the fact that many small businesses are not adequately protected. According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 81 percent of cyber security breaches happen to small businesses and cost an average of $300,000 per incident.The delta between protection of SMBs and large enterprises has grown tremendously as a result of cost and complexity.

In 2015, hackers will focus on volume rather than targeting the well-known powerhouse companies. The reason for this repositioning is two-fold – larger enterprises are typically more difficult to penetrate and the time between breach and detection is often days or even weeks longer in a smaller organization.

As we move towards 2015, cyber protection is critical as threats and hackers become more intelligent. The aftermath of a breach can be devastating, so there’s never been a better time to make cyber protection a priority than now.

My Digital Shield