IoT Security & Malicious Attacks on Internet Infrastructure
DDoS attacks / internet shutdowns powered by cheap / insecure IoT devices will become more common but becomes less lethal as backbone providers harden their defenses and device manufacturers adopt identity-based security to close vulnerabilities. However, the sheer number of cheap / insecure IoT devices deployed globally will ensure DDoS attacks continue sporadically through 2017. Catastrophic DDoS attacks might dominate tech media coverage, but the failure of IoT device, service and infrastructure to adopt and scale robust security and privacy tactics will play out in several ways also through 2017.
In 2017, the distinction between in-home and clinical healthcare devices will continue to erode. To date, smart wearables and exercise devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches have been perceived as a means to track exercise in order to further fitness goals – distinct from clinical medical devices like heart monitors, blood pressure cuffs or insulin pumps. At the same time, it’s become common for high blood pressure patients to monitor their BP at home, capturing it on an app on their phone – exactly how fitness trackers work. The wealth of data available to clinicians flowing from such devices is leading to expectations that individuals can and perhaps should play much more active roles in preventative care. But the ease with which personal health data can now be gathered and shared will increase pressure on healthcare IT decision-makers to turn to identity management and authentication as the technology most effective for achieving security objectives. The proliferation of digital systems and devices in healthcare settings creates more vulnerabilities where personal data can get exposed or stolen. By adding contextual authentication and authorization through strong digital identity, hacking these systems becomes more difficult – for example, adding presence, geo-location and or persistent authentication.
In 2017 commercial banks and investment houses will continue the race to avoid having their business models disrupted by “fintech” such as Bitcoin and emerging artificial intelligence technologies. In fact, we’re already seeing banks co-opting these disruptive technologies and incorporating them into their own IT mix. Somewhat ironically, because legacy banks have established relationships with their customer bases, many could be very well positioned to not just weather the digital transformation storm, but emerge even more stable and profitable in the years ahead – especially those that embrace omnichannel techniques and technologies to create seamless experiences that delight customers across devices. Into 2017 we expect to see banks working to allay increasing customer privacy concerns as they cope with regulations regarding data protection and sharing. There will be a continued effort to eliminate a) internal data silos that create impersonal customer experiences across channels, and b) fragmented systems that can’t support digital customer demands and business requirements.
The race toward omnichannel will accelerate in 2017 as many retailers and B2C organizations find themselves doing more business via mobile than they’re doing on the conventional laptop / online channel. Delivering convenience and seamless experiences will depend heavily on providing customers with experiences that are not just secure but also personalized to their needs and tastes. In order to do this, they must securely connect the digital identities of people, devices and things. This requires solving complex identity challenges and creating solutions that enhance and improve customer experiences and at the same time maximize revenue opportunities.
Communications & Media
AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner at the end of 2016 highlights exactly how vulnerable legacy media and telecommunications companies perceive themselves to be to disruptive forces like cord cutting. “Digital pipe” companies feel like they need to lock in content providers in order to lock in audiences and preserve value (U.S. cable giant Comcast has already gone down this road with its acquisition of NBC Universal back in 2013). However, regulators may frown on such industry consolidation, and independent players like Netflix and semi-independent players like Hulu and independent cable TV producers continue to find ways to directly insert successful content into the entertainment bloodstream. Here again, making content easily accessible through the full array of channels is key to locking in loyalty and preserving lifetime value (LTV).