A new whitepaper looks at how businesses can protect themselves from cyber attacks, while preparing for opportunities brought by the automation and digitalization of industries.
TÜV Rheinland’s “Cybersecurity Trends 2018” whitepaper addresses these concerns by identifying eight cybersecurity trends. The report is based on a survey of TÜV Rheinland’s leading cybersecurity experts and input from clients in Europe, North America, and Asia.
“Our goal is raise awareness to increasing cybersecurity risks impacting business and safety of our clients,” TÜV Rheinland Executive Vice President ICT and Business Solutions, Frank Luzsicza, said.
“In this year’s report, we focus on where we see the most significant threats and opportunities emerging,” Luzsicza added.
“We highlight the implications of our increasingly connected world, how global regulation is responding, the need to inject trust into cybersecurity, ways to protect ourselves from ‘intelligent’ cyber attacks, and what we should do to close the skills gap in an environment starved for cybersecurity talent, yet overwhelmed by volumes of data.”
The eight cybersecurity trends identified for 2018 are below.
A rising global tide of cyber-regulation increasing the price of privacy
Data protection is a critical concern, especially since the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable by law on May 25. This regulation disrupts data governance and how information is protected for any organization controlling or processing the personal data of European citizens. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to four percent of global turnover, with the EU Commission expected to hold major global companies accountable for any violations. GDPR is only one example from a growing list of emerging data protection regulations from around the world.
The Internet of Things drives the convergence of safety, cybersecurity, and data privacy
Product development, time to market considerations, and technical power constraints leave Internet of Things (IoT) devices exposed by exploitation of critical vulnerabilities. The impact of data breaches now extends beyond simple data monetization to “kinetic” threats to health and safety, as devices and systems are directly connected to open networks. It is widely accepted that the state of IoT security is poor and, with over 500 connected devices expected to cohabit with us in our homes by 2022, these represent a major risk to safety, cybersecurity, and data privacy.
Operational technology emerges as a frontline for cyberattacks
The industrial internet is already transforming global industry and infrastructure, promising greater efficiency, productivity, and safety. To compete means to move process equipment online, which often exposes component vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. Manufacturing plants are often targeted to obtain intellectual property, trade secrets, and engineering information. Attacks on public infrastructure are motivated by financial gain, “hacktivism”, and national state agendas. Fear of a “worst-case scenario,” where attackers trigger a breakdown in systems that underpin society was highlighted at this year’s World Economic Forum. Industrial systems are particularly susceptible to supply-chain attacks and adversaries have recognized this and are targeting them.
With cyber defences in place, focus shifts to threat detection and response
Recent cyber attacks on high-profile organizations are proving that preventative controls alone are not enough against sophisticated and persistent cyber criminals. It currently takes organizations, on average, more than 191 days to detect a data breach. The longer it takes to detect and respond to threats, the greater the financial and reputational damage that is caused by the incident. Organizations are exposed to costly dwell times due to the vast growth of security log data, limitations of incumbent technologies, ineffective use of threat intelligence, inability to monitor IoT devices, and shortage of cybersecurity talent.
Increasing use of artificial intelligence for cyber attacks and cyber defence
As organizations undergo a digital transformation, increasingly sophisticated and persistent cyber attacks are growing in volume. Malware is becoming smarter and able to “intelligently” adapt to and evade traditional detection and eradication measures. With a global shortage of cybersecurity talent, organizations are losing the cybersecurity battle. The volume of security data now exceeds our legacy capability to use it effectively, which leads to a growing number of artificially intelligence-enabled cybersecurity use cases: accelerating incident detection and response, better identifying and communicating risks to the business, and providing a unified view of security status across the organization.
Certifications become necessary to inject trust into cybersecurity
It is broadly accepted that cybersecurity and data protection are critically important, but how can you judge the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity posture? There is a growing concern for trust in cybersecurity, evidenced by existing and emerging standards. For chief information security officers and product manufacturers alike, certification provides validation that you have done what you claim. Today, however, product security assurance certification schemes tend to focus on critical infrastructure and government sectors.
Passwords being replaced by biometric authentication
Our digital lives are ruled by a complex web of online apps, which each require a username and password to access. Selecting an obscure and complex password—and changing it often—is good practice to protect the data behind these apps, but is also quite rare. With exponential improvements in computing power—and easy access to lots of it in the cloud—the time it takes to brute force passwords is rapidly reducing. What took nearly four years in 2000, now takes only two months. Add to that the fact that stolen, hacked, and traded passwords have never been more openly available. As a result, it is increasingly commonplace to encounter biometric authentication (facial, fingerprint, iris, and voice) included in everyday mobile, tablet, and laptop devices, as well as physical access and online services.
Industries under siege: Healthcare, finance, and energy
The majority of cyberattacks are undertaken by criminal organizations and are motivated by money. The value of information on the dark web depends on demand for the data, available supply, its completeness, and ability for reuse. As a result, healthcare and financial personal information is highly sought after. Other cyberattacks have more political and nation-state motives. Disruption to critical services through attacks on the energy sector is a key risk in 2018, as evidenced by recent news of Russia’s campaign of cyberattacks targeting the U.S. power grid, which is suspected to have been underway for several years.
Click here for more information about TÜV Rheinland’s Cybersecurity Trends 2018 whitepaper.