AI Cyber-Sleuths

The digital revolution is a familiar concept for individuals, enterprises as well as the nation, owing to the opportunities that it provides, writes Sanjay Rohatgi in the Economic Times. Modern technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and mobile applications have traversed boundaries and are a part of business as usual. In India, while the government’s agenda of digital transformation drove modernisation of infrastructure, enterprises continued their quest of reaping greater operational benefits and collaboration with reduced costs by the adoption of cloud. Amid these technological advancements, there has been a huge tactical shift among cyber attackers. Today , it is no longer a question of if, but when you will be attacked. As the year draws to a close, Symantec’s security experts have evaluated the current scenario and the trends that would be prevalent in 2017.

Internet of connected everything: IoT is no more a concept touted to be the next big thing. It is driving the innovation across businesses and is an integral part of their IT infrastructure. Businesses are extensively adopting connected devices, promoting collaboration and productivity. This hyper-connectivity will expose potentially everything connected to the internet at an enterprise and thus, would need to be secured. This would result in advanced incident response and adoption of stringent security protocols by organisations.The recent Dyn DDoS attacks in October also showed the world how unsecured IoT can be manipulated and breached. The automobile industry also promises to become a security battleground between manufacturers, users and developers heading into 2017. As a greater number of smart parts become affiliated within vehicles, they can easily be manipulated and hacked. Moreover, with driverless cars also poised to hit the roads soon, security breaches in this case could eventually end up causing physical damage.

Additionally, for consumers, as self driven cars become a reality, automobile hacks would also become mainstream. This could include cars being held for ransom, hacked to obtain their location for hijacking, unauthorised surveillance and intelligence gathering, or other automobile-focused threats. This will also lead to a question of liability between the software vendor and automobile manufacturer, which will have long-term implications on the future of connected cars.

Future of business: Cloud generation: In the quest to address the needs of the mobile-workforce, businesses will need to expand their security infrastructure beyond firewalls. The need would be to move towards WiFi and cloud-based services rather than investing in expensive and unnecessary network solutions. Additionally, as businesses realise the potential of data, machine learning and artificial intelligence will become more relevant and prevalent.While this would provide pertinent business insights, it would also increase vulnerable end-points. Introducing security machines that can self-learn and adapt to threats in real-time will soon become a priority.

The changing face of cybercrime: Today’s attackers are well funded, state-sponsored, stealthy and persistent; this enables them to create new techniques to hide themselves while compromising defences and critical data. Attackers have moved far beyond targeting limited financial incentives such as credit cards. As their motivation goes beyond financial gratification, there can be situations where nation-states join hands with cyber sleuths. This could lead to increased targeting of financial, political or military systems of corporations and targeted nations, which could then lead to global turmoil in 2017. Drone jacking is likely to become a common theme in 2017 and businesses would need to start devising anti-drone hacking tech to prevent and combat such threats.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar


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