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BitSight 2017 Predictions: From AWS and IoT to Hacktivism and Cyber Insurance - In 2017 We Will See it All

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by By Jake Olcott, Vice President, BitSight

From AWS and IoT to Hacktivism and Cyber Insurance - In 2017 We Will See it All

Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure

Following the hack against the Ukrainian electric grid, and hospital disruptions due to ransomware attacks, we will see more breaches aimed at critical infrastructure next year. What's more, the idea of "critical infrastructure" will change. We're no longer just speaking about the grid or financial institutions. Critical infrastructure will include key cloud services, like AWS, which could create a huge, detrimental outage should a breach against this service take place. If the DDoS attack on Dyn was so impactful, imagine the repercussions of an outage at a larger service provider.

IoT Will Come Under Attack...Again

In 2017, we will see more cyberattacks that leverage IoT devices. Whether targeting smart meters, connected medical devices, or automobiles, IoT devices have proven their vulnerability, and will come under attack next year. What's more, we are now prone to the "copycat effect," where hackers who have witnessed the impact of the Dyn attack will try something similar, hoping to achieve the same or an even greater outcome.

Embarrassing Disclosures in the Name of "Hacktivism"

We're going to see more Wikileak-style embarrassing disclosures in 2017, targeting political figures or others in the public eye. Hackers will look to target corporate documents that implicate people in an attempt to persuade or influence the masses. We've already seen this approach emerge, with ISIS trying to attract new followers, and Russia allegedly attempting to influence the US election. Headlines are easily manipulated by the data revealed in embarrassing disclosures, and this will impact both governmental and corporate decisions in the coming year.

Cyber Insurers will ask, "what's the Big Data?"

Cyber insurance is on the rise, as more companies adopt plans and more underwriters expand their portfolio and grow their premiums, but in order to maintain credibility and justify costs, both insures and underwriters must adopt a data analytics approach to cyber insurance in 2017. The industry will continue to use and rely on data to develop quantitative models for assessing premiums in order to make more strategic decisions.

Beyond the data, there will be a new focus on what happens during the lifetime of a business relationship. Underwriters will begin developing programs that drive better security hygiene. In the same way that health insurance providers developed no-smoking policies or provide discounts for gym memberships, cyber insurance underwriters will reward companies for taking a more proactive approach toward cybersecurity.

Let's Get Visual, Visual

After massive breaches like Yahoo and Dyn, the Board now understands the importance of cybersecurity from both an optics and a business development standpoint. But communicating such issues still proves to be a difficult task. How do security practitioners take all the information from their network and enterprise and comprise it into something meaningful that a decision-maker can quickly understand? 2017 will bring the rise of security visualizations. Those reporting on security to the board will adopt a visual approach in order to easily display and quantify the needs of their business unit.

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About the Author

Jake Olcott is vice president of business development at BitSight, which provides companies with objective, evidence-based security ratings. He has previously worked as legal adviser to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on cybersecurity and staff director for the House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology.

Jake Olcott 

Published Friday, December 30, 2016 7:04 AM by David Marshall
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