5 Cyber Security Predictions for 2016

Information security and risk management professionals will rebel against cookie-cutter approaches to cyber security in 2016 – that’s just one of many ways that prevention, detection and response to cyber threats will change in the next year, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

“Security investments based on a checklist of technology required to meet compliance fails to address underlying or existing vulnerabilities,” Forrester authors Rick Holland and Heidi Shey contend. “Assess the maturity of your security program to build a strategic road map to reach higher levels of maturity, and identify existing gaps and centers of excellence.”
In particular, Forrester gives five cybersecurity predictions and resulting actions to be taken in 2016:

We’ll See Ransomware for a Medical Device or Wearable

Security and risk professionals should focus on the human factor to combat phishing; identify data assets and access paths to understand the types of data that wearables and Internet of Things devices are collecting; secure data collection as well as data analysis points, starting with medical devices collecting data and continuing to the location where analysis occurs; and re-examine existing security functions through an Internet of Things lens.

The U.S. Government Will Experience Another Significant Breach

Forrester gives a bleak assessment of the government’s security capabilities. “It will be cyber security as usual for the U.S. government, with lower morale as federal employees question the government’s ability to protect sensitive data and hire qualified cyber security experts.” In short, the government is short-staffed, under-budgeted and lacking internal discipline.

Security and Risk Pros Will Increase Spending on Prevention by 5 to 10 Percent

“You may have heard claims that prevention is dead,” according to Forrester. “This couldn’t be farther from the truth.” The firm recommends investing in new varieties of prevention that employ “exploit” prevention techniques; being skeptical of vendors that offer only detection technologies; and maximizing existing detection capabilities before investing in new ones.

Defense Contractors Will Fail to Woo Private Industry with ‘Military Grade’ Security

Contractors see a big opportunity in the commercial sector and have been buying up complementary companies, but have difficulty understanding private-sector requirements and dynamics, according to Forrester. “Many assume that purchase orders will rain down from the heavens with the mere mention of statements like, ‘We’ve been fighting the advanced persistent threat for 15 years.’” So, question defense contractors about their commercial experience, see through the ‘Military Grade’ claims as a higher tier product, because that isn’t a given (see F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet), and understand that a long-term commitment to commercial markets is a traditional concern when working with defense contractors.”

HR Departments Will Offer Identity and Credit Protection as an Employee Benefit

“Keeping up with the times, potential challenges associated with fighting fraud, identity theft, medical identity theft and damage to personal online reputation will drive HR pros to bring in identity and credit protection and resolution services as an employee benefit,” Forrester notes. So, build a closer relationship with HR, and revamp and jumpstart your security awareness program.

The complete report from Forrester Research, “Predictions 2016: Cybersecurity Swings to Prevention,” is available here.

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