The Thales Data Threat report of 2018, which is based on the responses of over 1,200 senior security executives mentions that about 46% of the US companies had to suffer from the consequences of a data breach in 2017.

According to the report, the number of data breaches seems to be increasing every year.

The cybersecurity professionals have weighed in on this matter. They feel that one of the reasons why the threat to the IT security is increasing with every passing year is that more than 94% of the organizations have started using their sensitive data on cloud, IoT, blockchain and other mobile environments. This behaviour to adopt the latest digital platforms has created more risks. Now, 44% of the total respondents that participated in the Thales Report feel extremely vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

According to the predictions in the reports issued by 451 Research and Thales Security, the cybersecurity professionals should be careful about the following threats to data and IT security in 2018:

1- Complexity

The biggest barrier that prevents the organizations from adopting the measures of cybersecurity is complexity. Due to adopting multi-cloud infrastructure strategies and other cloud-based applications, data security has become extremely complex. And it will continue to become more complicated. The Thales survey found that:

  • 84% of the respondents are using more than one IaaS vendor.
  • 15% are using more than five IaaS vendors
  • More than 34% of the respondents are using more than 50 SaaS applications.

2- New Technologies

Most of the companies just rush towards the latest IT technology and adopt it, and they will continue to do so. This early deployment of the latest technologies keeps them ahead of their competitors and gives them an edge above their business rivals. The worst part is that the organizations adopt these latest technologies without considering their security vulnerabilities. Some of these modern and advanced technologies include IoT and blockchain.

3- Big Data Breaches

According to CSO, the total loss in data breaches in 2017 amounted to $7.3 million. MIT’s latest technology review and Infosecurity Magazine have predicted that large scale data breaches, like experienced by Verizon and Equifax, will continue in 2018 as well. Other companies that keep large amounts of data on these contemporary digital platforms and have less regulations regarding IT security are likely to become the next targets this year.

4- Cryptocurrency Mining

Another threat that the cybersecurity professionals need to look out for is hijacking for cryptocurrency mining. There was a similar incident where miners hacked the computers on the Starbuck’s network to use them for cryptocurrency mining. The likely targets of these miners are the companies that have huge processing power. The worst-case scenario will be if these hackers manage to hijack the computers of airport or a hospital, leaving them helpless and unable to carry on with their own operations.

5- The Use of AI

AI can increase cybersecurity, but it can also allow you to commit more sophisticated cyber attacks. The Thales Report mentions that in 2018 it’s expected that AI technology like Swarmbots and Hivenets might be used to control a data security breach without any central command control instruction.

In order to increase the existing standards of IT security and minimize the cybersecurity threats, the organizations should consider adopting an “encrypt-everything” strategy as their main defence against data security breaches. Selecting multiple use data security platforms is also a good idea to address the complexity issues we talked above.

Also, implementing security analytics will help the organizations to identify the insecure patterns of data use.