February 19, 2018
10 Things

10 Things I Know About… Cybersecurity trends

Michelle Droley is CEO of Towerwall, a data security services provider in Framingham. Reach her at michelled@towerwall.com.

10) Data breaches. Nearly 5 million data records are lost or stolen worldwide every single day, or 58 records every second. According to an IBM report, the average cost of a data breach is $7.3 million.

9) Machine learning will play a bigger role in cybersecurity. Because the battle against cyber criminals moves so rapidly, machine learning models identifying attacks early could be a real boon for defenses.

8) Rise in ransomware. A growing threat claiming high-profile victims, ransomware is when bad actors lock access to your data, then demand payment for the key.

7) Patching & updating. Back up your sensitive data like customer records regularly, keep patching and updating systems – all simple steps.

6) Skills shortage. The dearth of skilled cybersecurity professionals is a major problem. Despite soaring average salaries, thousands of positions are vacant.

5) Hire a virtual CISO. Chief information security officers can be hired on a temporary basis to lay out a ground plan. Expect to see more outsourcing as employers fill the skills gap.

4) Application testing. If you don't test your security, then you don't know how secure your business is.

3) IoT is a weak link. We're rolling out more and more sensor-packed, internet-connected devices, but the Internet of Things remains a major weak point for defenses. All too often these devices lack basic security controls.

2) Handle with care. Lessen the blow by handling the aftermath correctly. Delaying disclosure, misdirecting potential victims, and failing to patch a known vulnerability will make a bad situation worse.

1) All is not doom. Positive developments in cybersecurity include adoption of models like the National Institute of Standards & Technology's cybersecurity framework. As more organizations and experts come together to develop a common language, our collective defenses grow stronger.

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