Security Experts:

The State of Security this Past Year is a Just a Glimpse of What’s to Come in 2015

2014 was quite the year. From the string of major data breaches leading to reputational damage, to large-scale cloud hacks creating distrust in cloud-based services, who would’ve predicted the past year would be as eventful as it was, security-wise? Well, as we enter the New Year, it’s time to reflect on these latest occurrences and consider what they may lead to in the year that lies ahead.

Before simply forgetting about the past year and keeping an eye squarely focused on the future, don’t forget to account for the growth and maturity of the industry in 2014 and how that will only contribute to the fate of security in 2015. Although these are just a few key trends that have already started to take hold this last year, it’s key to note how they will evolve and escalate in the upcoming year.

Securing the Internet of Things

 As more devices are connected to the Internet and as BYOD continues to dominate the workplace, we are likely to see attackers follow as the potential for attacks only increases. Workers will introduce new types of devices to the corporate environment and companies themselves will have new devices internet-dependent, which makes them more vulnerable.

The ability for an attacker to find vulnerabilities in and remotely control medical devices, cars, thermostats and other physical systems could create a significant threat to society. It will be incumbent on companies developing these technologies to focus on security in the development process, as well as develop better ways to quickly patch systems when problems are found. If not, the potential for software hacks impacting critical physical environments and systems will increase significantly. For enterprises, it will be imperative to consider the logistics of patching firmware on these systems, especially if they are deployed widely across the company.

The Black Market Continues to Grow and Mature

In 2014, we saw that along with the increase of connected devices and data breaches, hacker black markets reached a significant level of skill and maturity. In 2015, we are likely to see the continued expansion and maturity of hacker black markets. Fueled by the continued vulnerability of point of sale systems and an influx of cloud services, the market opportunity for economically motivated attackers will continue to grow.  

We are likely to see new hacking tools and exploit kits being developed to exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems. Further, despite crackdowns on darkweb sites like Silk Road by the FBI and other law enforcement, new markets will quickly open to take their place to meet the significant demand for stolen records and other illicit goods. There will likely continue to be a significant supply of credit card and other online credentials being sold on the black market driven by mega breaches at major cloud providers and retailers.

Data Science Spreads to Security

With the continued focus of the industry on providing better and more actionable threat intelligence this year, we are likely to see a rise in demand of data scientists in security. While already in high demand in other fields, the need for data scientists capable of making more accurate and effective colorations of threat data will increase. The companies capable of best applying data science to security will find competitive differentiation in the marketplace by being able to deliver more reliable and useful intelligence about attacks and attackers.

Even though no one knows exactly what will happen in the coming months, these predictions ideally provide some fodder to consider what will be here before we know it. How do you expect this year’s security trends will unfold in the New Year?

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Rebecca Lawson leads worldwide product marketing initiatives for the security business at Juniper Networks. She is responsible for directing market development, communications and integration of technology and service offerings on behalf of enterprise customers and service providers. Lawson’s background in enterprise technology spans more than 20 years in product marketing and product management, strategy, marketing communications and business development for internet start-ups as well as large multinational companies. Lawson is a frequent public speaker and author of several technology-related publications.