2017 Security Predictions

2017 Security Predictions

As data breaches continue to dominate the headlines, it’s no surprise that security stays at the top of the priority list for businesses. The profile of such incidents in 2016 means that 2017 has the potential to be a fascinating, and busy(!), year for security professionals and businesses operating in all sectors. Here’s where I think we’ll see the biggest changes: 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – now or never 

Although regulatory fines do not come into force until after 25th May 2018, we are likely to see operational changes taking place in preparation – the biggest being the relationship change between suppliers and businesses. With the GDPR, data processors will have similar liability as data controllers for data protection, potentially putting pressure on the supply chain as a whole. 

The face of business process outsourcing will subtly shift. This is a challenge the industry must work to overcome – whether through adapting business models or changing pricing structure to reflect the impact the regulation will have. In addition bards will start to take data protection seriously – something that too many have failed to do thus far. 

Internet of Things (IoT) legislation rollout 

Gartner predicted that 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ would be in use in 2016 and this figure could reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Smart technology has reached such a high level of adoption that it’s likely we will see a call for IoT legislation. Sadly no consumer ever bought a product based on how secure it can be, therefore legislation will be needed to protect consumers. To avoid this, the industry must look at how security should be adapted and guidelines introduced to ensure this increase in IoT is properly regulated. This will be crucial to ensuring security is made a fundamental part of all future IoT products by the industries own hand and not enforced by legislation. 

Safeguarding consumers 

As day-to-day life becomes ubiquitous with connected, smart devices, the price of security faces a potential image issue. Today’s consumers expect everything to work instantly and seamlessly meaning that security patch installations have the potential to disrupt the natural ebb and flow of everyday life. Similar to mandatory software updates for laptops and PCs, we are likely to see this transfer to IoT technologies with increasing regularity. 

IoT applications are a key feature of the home of the future, with smart thermostats and CCTV systems, for example, becoming commonplace. Attackers are already aware that by denying individuals access to their computers and files, they can force them to pay a fee for release. 

Many more technologies are likely to become at risk to ransomware, as attackers deny access to underlying hardware and services, unless the owner is willing to pay a sum of money. Next year will see the security industry looking at how best to incorporate security with user experience – a fine balancing act.

[Author: Quentyn Taylor]