Cyber security is one of the greatest man-made challenges of our time

Written by Ben Azvine, Head of Security Futures Practice, BT on 6 March 2018 in Sponsored Article
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BT's Ben Azvine argues that the frequency and impact of breaches is increasing and we need to continuously adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the threat environment

It might surprise you, but:

-        The UK market for cyber security is worth £3.5 billion
-        The cost of Cybercrime is set to reach £6 trillion annually by 2021, up from £3 trillion just a year ago
-        Cybersecurity spending will exceed £1 trillion from 2017 to 2021
-        Up to 200 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will need securing by 2020
-        Human attack surface to reach 4 billion people by 2020

New threats are coming from a number of places, but let’s look at two specifically: the rise of new technologies, and a change in the motivation of attackers.

With the growth of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, digital currencies and Blockchain, big data and IoT, it will be easier than ever to do business and live our lives over the next decade. New technology can also be used to create new and unexpected threats, such as ransomware or the use of bitcoin by cybercriminals.

The downside to this is that it also leaves us vulnerable to new security risks, there are some fundamental questions to ask such as:

-        How can we make sure AI systems are learning the right behaviour?
-        How can we detect or predict Cyber attacks in real time?
-        How can we secure our homes, cars and cities when everything is connected?
-        Can we use smart technologies to create a world without passwords?
-        How can we protect our network and data from most powerful computer attacks in the future?

Motivation of hackers has also changed. They’re no longer just teenage hackers looking for fame and kudos. There’s been a rise in organised criminal gangs and ideology-based ‘hactivism’, with groups coming together (such as Anonymous) to instigate large scale attacks. In the future we’ll see the rise of “Artificial hackers”, intelligent machines that can be programmed to replicate what hackers or hacktivists do but at scale. Large organisations can no longer be satisfied with the notion that because they have more resources than their attackers, they are a less attractive target for cyber-attacks.

It's time to look at security from a new angle. To learn more, download our latest report: Securing the digital enterprise

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