EXCLUSIVE: Cyber security predictions from CUJO AI

Evolving & ever growing IoT landscape will widen attack surface for cyber criminals (IoT adoption by corporations, smart homes)

It has been predicted that there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. Obviously such dynamics and trend drives the conclusion that attack surface within IoT space will increase largely.

IoT adoption is growing within both home consumer and corporate spaces. There is no question this trend introduces enormous economic opportunities for companies and convenience for home consumers, but on the other hand, while most of IoT vendors are still driven by “being first to the market” approach, there will be lots of poorly secured devices spread across households and corporate environments.

>See also: Cyber security predictions for 2018

There is a need to introduce gateway designed security controls which will be effective in managing IoT ecosystems and would deliver accountability, timely anomaly based detection and blocking services and would be intelligence driven, able to proactively flag risks with both home consumer and corporate environments.

Also worth mentioning is; IoT botnet (Mirai, IoT Reaper, Satori and etc.) evolvements and their effective capabilities to bring down huge commercial services when instructed to perform DDoS attacks.

Exploit Kit (EK) evolution and quipped with ransomware payloads

Ups and downs are always seen within various EK evolvements and developments. Some EKs are going into a dormant state, but others are evolving and are seen as active. As soon as new
vulnerabilities are identified criminals are adopting EKs and incorporating new exploits. There will definitely be an increase in this area going into 2018, due to continuous and easy gained profitability by criminals.

>See also: Five cyber security trends for 2018

Equipped with the latest and ever evolved ransomware payloads EKs are getting more dangerous attack vectors for corporations and home users. A recent study by Veracode revealed that only 14% of high severity vulnerabilities are fixed in less than 30 days, which drives the conclusion that 86% take longer than 30 days. This is more than enough time for advanced malicious actors to change and adopt Exploit Kits to gain maximum possible profits form their attack campaigns.

Advancements in social engineering schemes and attacks scenarios (hybrid ransomware attacks)

Email is still one of the main first stage delivery phases in the whole attack chain (for obvious reasons – it is one of the main communication channels for most people). So email will continue to be one of the top attack vectors in 2018.

>See also: EXCLUSIVE: CEO provides his cyber security predictions for 2018

And as was seen with the latest PayPal phishing example, targeting is getting better (which is possible with all the amount personal information now freely available on social channels), spoofing and social engineering scenarios will get even more sophisticated. This attack trend wrapped up into hybrid ransomware delivery scenarios will be one of key and most dangerous trends to watch during 2018.

Nations states and cyber warfare

There is no question that governments will invest into building up their cyber capabilities (Iranian Cyber Army, PLA Unit 61398 in China, Bureau 121 in North Korea and etc.). For the last few years some of most prominent attacks and breaches were attributed to Nation State capabilities and actors. There is no question that states having such offensive capabilities will exploit all the opportunities on their way to gain competitive advantage in economic markets, or steal governments and corporate secrets.

ML and AI used by criminal actors to foil exiting security controls (e.g. next-gen AV solutions and firewalls, etc.)

2018 will be the year when ML/AI technologies and algorithms will be adopted not only by defenders, but also by attackers to circumvent defence controls and do more intelligent reconnaissance and execute almost end-to-end automated and sophisticated attack scenarios.

Shortfall of qualified security experts

The trend is that the qualified workforce demand is much bigger than the existing pool of cyber security experts. It is obvious that 2018 and ongoing will be challenging for many organisations and corporations in growing their workforce to build up required cyber security capability.

 

Sourced by CUJOAI

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.