Ebbs and flows of cybersecurity trends are no surprise to seasoned IT professionals, but sometimes it can be hard to keep up with what’s coming next and what’s on it’s way out.
The trick to staying in the know is constant conversation in amongst your peers, and keeping up with the technology companies currently making splash when it comes to thwarting attacks and keeping your data safe.
Today, we’re breaking down two hot trends in cybersecurity that you should be on top of—ransomware and blockchain.
Ransomware: defense is a high priority.
This particular pain for IT professionals has been an increasing threat lately because of the new capability to outsource the development of custom ransomware strains.
So, someone could be working with a hacker to build a ransomware specifically designed to attack you. The hackers get a portion of the proceeds as payment, meaning this doesn’t usually require any money up front.
Two popular examples are WannaCry and Petya, striking Britain’s National Health Service and personal bitcoin wallets.
Dan Manson, National Cyber League Commissioner, suggests how to prepare:
“Businesses need to stop looking for cybersecurity professionals in the wrong places and using outdated ways of hiring employees. We find that many companies lack the understanding of potential cyber threats and also are unfamiliar with the state of the cybersecurity landscape. Therefore, they don’t know better than to rely on a resume than to ask a potential employee to show proof of their skills being validated.
This is the main reason the National Cyber League started providing NCL Scouting Reports. Not only does this report reflect personal cybersecurity skills growth, but cybersecurity students are getting jobs as it shows employers their skills are tested and validated,” Manson told pheonixNAP.
His advice rings logically true—ransomware is evolving at an alarming rate, and the first step in defense against is your talent.
Finding the right person for ransomware defense could mean the difference between a near miss and a billion dollar mistake.
Blockchain: improving the security of transactions.
On a happier note, there’s something new on the horizon that looks to be an improvement for the cybersecurity professionals of today.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain are commonly referred to together, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive, and blockchain has the potential for very positive security applications.
Lawrence Aucoin, CTO and Managing Partner at Optimal IdM, discusses the future of blockchain for security professions, no matter how vague:
“Blockchain applied to an identity world is an interesting, if not fairly speculative, real-world application,” Aucoin told CSO.
“Some of the compelling foundational components of an identity blockchain are that you don’t need a central ‘store’ (or bank) as a middleman to trade with a partner. In fact, you don’t even need to know who the partner is—only that they are a verified participant in the blockchain. Trust is essential to commerce and that is blockchain’s sweet spot.”
Because blockchain is all about trust, there is a huge financial motivation. IT professionals should keep an eye out for more attempted attacks on blockchain solutions, as well as more developments and applications for corporations.
As we look ahead to new trends, we need to assume that the urgency and concern data breached foster is only going to rise. Keeping up with trends is just one step on the journey towards true cybersecurity.
Megan has been writing about enterprise technology, data, infosecurity and environmental technology for several years. Tweet her @MeganRoseM, or check out her blog: www.meganmorreale.com.