Cybersecurity predictions 2016: luck or leadership?

Author:Crosby, Simon
Position:DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: SECURITY PREDICTIONS
 
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In the blink of an eye, 2015 is almost over. When looking back at it and what it meant for the cybersecurity industry, this year has been predictably busy. We saw large acquisitions, including those of EMC by Dell and Websense by Raytheon, while companies such as Rapid7 and Sophos went public. Large funding rounds were a near weekly occurrence, and as a result the sector raised more than $2.3 billion within the first nine months.

Cybersecurity spending increased sharply and by the end of the year should finish at around US$80 billion, according to Gartner's estimates. While the U.S. House and Senate continued to debate cybersecurity legislation, US government agencies amassed a whopping security budget of $12.5 billion, collectively.

There were unforgettable breaches--like TalkTalk, Hilton, and Carphone Warehouse, although the sexiest headlines went to the Ashley Madison breach. There also were countless daily reports of breaches due to "sophisticated attacks" and resulting losses from companies whose infrastructure--despite all the spending--remained woefully vulnerable. Even United States President Barack Obama stepped into the fray, cementing an agreement with China in the hope of limiting the scope of nation-state hacking. Good luck with that!

Looking back, it's painfully clear that while we may not have known then the names and faces of the victims, or the numbers behind the M&A, funding, budget and breach news, most of this was predictable in 2014. So will next year be any different, or are we doomed to repeat the past, yet again?

Unfortunately in most respects, 2016 won't change much: users will still unknowingly click on malicious links; IT departments will still be bad at staying up to date with patching; the bad guys will continue to attack; and the tide of misery from breaches will persist. What matters most is whether your organisation will be a victim or not. Of course you could do nothing, and be lucky. But the only way to control your fate is to lead your organisation to the high ground based on a well-considered, security-first strategy.

It is important to remember that, despite their claims, most security vendors cannot help you. Within the market we see too many "me too" vendors, who's main focus in on the staple of detection. Within the endpoint security sector alone, over 40 vendors are bringing to market a feature set that Gartner terms "EDR," or endpoint detection and response. The sole goal of this is to help find a...

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