As the calendar rolls around to 2017 we are once again faced with an uncertain security landscape. As difficult as 2016 was from a security standpoint, 2017 is trending toward more of the same or worse, especially when it comes to online or logical threats.
As companies strive to keep their employees, inventory, premises, and data safe, keeping up with new trends and predictions can help to prepare them for novel vulnerabilities they may otherwise not have been prepared for.
In that light, we’ll take a look at 4 security predictions for 2017 and try to formulate a picture of what the security environment will look like in the coming year.
Physical and Logical Security Convergence
Industries are starting to recognize that there is a convergence between physical and computational security, with a growing understanding that the two are dependent on each other in many ways.
This convergence, sometimes referred to as Physical Information Security (PIM), is a direct result of the correlation between logical data breaches and increased physical security measures.
In fact, with a survey of 500 executives revealing that only 49% of companies have a comprehensive plan to deal with insider security threats – threats to an environment from employees rather than outsiders – it’s no wonder that data breaches can easily stem from poor physical security.
To that end, it’s useful to look at security as an integrated concern instead of separating it out into physical and online aspects, since both physical security working in tandem with computer security measures are the driving force in preventing logical data attacks.
And the success of ransomware attacks means they won’t be going away anytime soon. Forcepoint expects an escalation in ransomware incidents, noting that there is an incentive for unscrupulous organizations to hire ransomware attackers to gain access to competitors’ information.
So in 2017, expect there to be a closing of the gap between cyber security and physical security as these two domains continue to overlap.
Biometric Security Adoption To Jump
The usage and adoption of biometric security are expected to rise significantly in 2017. Jorgen Lantto, Chief Executive of Swedish firm FPC believes the market for smart card technology will hit $100 million in 2017 before spiking toward $500 million in 2018.
This trend also extends to facility access control, with biometrics offering key advantages over traditional methods such as keycards. Today’s sophisticated security systems are virtually impossible to fool, using a person’s own biometric markers such as fingerprints to identify them.
As well, biometrics improve the security of companies with bring your own device (BYOD) policies since many devices already incorporate the technology, offering an additional layer of security to corporate networks and their sensitive data.
Despite concerns over higher implementation costs and user privacy controls, expect biometric security technology to see a large jump in 2017.
Physical Security Device Vulnerability
With the ever-expanding availability of internet-connected devices, the potential for data breaches has similarly increased. These so-called “internet of things” or IOT devices include physical security devices such as facility access hardware and CCTVs, and attacks against them are expected to rise.
According to McAfee’s Threat Predictions for 2017, “The physical and cyber security industries will join forces and begin hardening security products from physical threats,” noting in addition that 70% of video surveillance cameras now sold are connected to computer networks.
Not only are CCTVs open to the potential for having their imagery subverted and rerouted but hackers can leverage them in order to gain access to sensitive data on company networks.
And due to these IP-enabled devices’ vulnerability to malware attacks, Gartner estimates more than 25 percent of attacks in enterprise will involve IOT devices by 2020, an alarming trend that doesn’t bode well for the coming year.
The good news is that top flight security companies are aware of these vulnerabilities and can initiate processes and procedures to mitigate the risk. However, expect IOT device vulnerability to continue to be a hot topic in 2017.
Data Breaches To Rise
As hackers continue to refine their operations and find new and innovative ways to launch attacks, the overall number of data breaches is expected to continue its upward trend in 2017.
Experian’s 2017 Data Breach Industry Forecast predicts that healthcare organizations will bear the brunt of these attacks, with electronic health records (EHRs) being the primary target since personal information is a lucrative target for data thieves.
The report also notes that 100 million EHRs have been compromised in recent years, highlighting the urgency the industry faces in adopting more robust security. In fact, the decentralized nature of healthcare networks makes attacking them even more enticing.
It’s therefore urgent that hospitals, insurance companies, clinics and private practices have up to date physical and network security measures in place in order to avoid being a victim of sensitive data breaches in 2017.
The common thread among these forecasted 2017 trends is the idea that physical security and data security have become co-dependent. Despite the predicted rise in online attacks against networks and IOT devices, companies need to ensure that their physical security is robust enough to help them weather the storm.
Veridin provides security and access control systems to companies across a wide industrial spectrum. With over two decades of experience, Veridin has the expert solutions you need to ensure your premises are properly secured. Contact us to learn how our security services can ensure your company’s peace of mind.