No one would argue that 2018 was a turbulent year for cybercrime and identity theft, impacting organizations of all shapes and sizes around the globe. From retailers to financial institutions, ecommerce to healthcare, no industry was left untouched. Facebook experienced one of the largest breaches in 2018, impacting 2.2 billion users worldwide. More than 300 million Marriott guests were caught off guard when the press reported that hackers had access to the Starwood brand's network for the past four years, exposing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as addresses, phone numbers, and passport numbers. Even the U.S. Postal Service was compromised, with 60 million Informed Delivery customers targeted by cybercriminals who intercepted packages and opened new credit cards in their name.
Cybersecurity used to be relatively easy. Employees would come into the office, sit down at their desktop computers and begin work. Then along came mobility and the cloud, complicating the protection of an organization's most important information assets. Today, employees can work from anywhere, connecting from a smartphone, laptop or tablet to myriad applications, cloud services and collaboration platforms. From a data security standpoint, the corporate perimeter encompasses the earth.
Mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) are increasingly important to enterprises, as these technologies enhance communication and productivity in multiple industry sectors. "Consumers are demanding access anytime, anywhere, anyhow," said Sean Peasley, a partner at Deloitte's Cyber Risk Services practice. "The data those devices collect will grow exponentially with market and application growth, allowing for more in-depth analysis and near-real-time responsiveness." The rise of mobile paved the way for IoT -- interest in which is up across enterprises, Peasley said. Some 38 percent of tech leaders said their companies are currently using IoT devices, according to a recent Tech Pro Research survey.
Securing your digital assets is a clear need for any business and individual, whether you are looking to protect your personal photos, company's intellectual property, customers' sensitive data or any other aspect that can harm your reputation or business continuity. This need will continue to grow massively over the next few years as the amount of generated and aggregated data is exploding (IDC predicts that by 2020, the volume of digital data will reach 44 Zettabytes, 1,000,000,000,000 GB 1ZB). The greatest challenge, in all disciplines of Cybersecurity, is to be able to recognize new threats efficiently without relying on any signatures or easy to bypass heuristics, which rely on known, previously-seen malicious activities. Supporting this trend, although billions of dollars are spent on cybersecurity (the latest estimate by Garter, worldwide information security spending will reach 81.6 billion in 2016), we keep seeing the growing number of reported cyber-attacks and the higher magnitude of breaches every day, for example the recently published high-magnitude cyber-breaches -- Yahoo 500M accounts data breach is among the biggest in the history, Dropbox confirmed 68M accounts details leaked. There are many Cybersecurity frontiers where harnessing the predictive power of AI might bring the upper hand to security vendors and to us all, individuals and businesses.
This week sees the start of Infosecurity, one of the world's biggest security conferences held in London. Is it coincidence that we recently saw the effects of a major security breach, making headlines all over mainstream news sites? Unfortunately, the truth is that security breaches don't just happen in tandem with security conferences, but are continual. To avoid breaches, we need to make sure we stay a step ahead of hackers, fraudsters and others actively trying to break security measures. In addition, we need to protect organizations and companies from these criminals – as well as from inadvertent or unintended security lapses.