10 ways cyber security will evolve in the face of growing threats

By Nick Ismail for Information Age – originally published 16th May 2017.

The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, with different strains of malware attacking network systems every day. Organisations are losing the cyber war and, as a result, cyber security needs to evolve to combat the growing problem created by cyber attacks. This may take the form of security systems integrated with AI or simply stricter regulations so organisations will take the threat more seriously.

Over the next five years, cyber security will evolve. But in what ways? Will the balance of the cyber war change, or will hackers still reign supreme? Information Age asked ten cyber security experts for their views on how the cyber security landscape will evolve in the next five years.

1 Automation

Security vendor Check Point’s regional director for Northern Europe, Nick Lowe, suggests that the standard cyber security practice will see automated responses to cyber attacks.

Cyber security defences will use more intelligence, big data analysis and machine learning to automatically identify threats and work proactively to expose and correlate the full operation of new cyber attack campaigns, he says. For example, a new attack might start with a malicious link being sent in an email to an Office 365 cloud.

The security solution will identify this, block the attack and upload the ‘indicators of compromise’ of the attack – that is, how it works – to a cloud-based threat intelligence service, which correlates it with other attack types.
‘So new attacks using that malicious link or website – for example, sending it by WhatsApp or SMS – get blocked automatically, before the attack can take hold. These attacks might otherwise seem unrelated, but in fact they could belong to a single attack campaign that is targeting an organisation using multiple vectors.

‘This threat intelligence and analytics capability is the equivalent of vaccinating networks against new infections as they emerge – building immunity that protects organisations before new attacks can be effective.’

2 Blockchain

Ian Smith, CEO and founder of Gospel Technology, believes that blockchain will be essential in protecting data from malicious attacks.

One way to tackle this issue of cyber security is with the use of a distributed ledger system, better known as blockchain, which guarantees the integrity and identity of the content appended through decentralised validation.
‘Once recorded, this data cannot be changed, ensuring provenance and history for the key trust indicators of the digital assets,’ says Smith. ‘For data regulation, these are bound to a cryptographic hash and can then absolutely guarantee the integrity of the data.

‘The application of blockchain in this space will see that trust return in the next few years as completely unbreachable systems are introduced to the market that allow perimeterless but controlled private distributed ledgers.’


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