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The Top Security Industry Predictions for 2016 – And Awards for the Best

Dan Lohrmann –

More security predictions than ever before. As I examined hundreds of expert forecasts for 2016 and beyond, with cyber trends and predicted technology events from top companies, it is hard to be optimistic about our online situation. And yet, the combined predictions tell us an important story about online life. So where is cyberspace heading? What surprises await us?

As top security companies, technology magazines, cyber experts and security bloggers came out with their predictions for 2016, it is clear that the global cybersecurity industry continues to lose ground to the bad guys online.

For reminders and those who like to keep score, here is a list of the top security predictions that were made last December regarding the 2015 year that just ended.

Also, in this 2015 year-end summary, I explain how 2015 was the year that data breaches became much more personal — even intimate.

So what can possibly get worse (and hopefully better) in 2016? Only time will tell for sure — but thousands of security gurus give it their best shot each year. In order to help, I compile their wisdom into one place for easy access.

Therefore, here’s my “Guide to 2016 Security Predictions,” for readers who want to see the specific company prediction details as move past New Year’s Day 2016. If you want to jump to conclusions, my cyber prediction award-winners follow at the end.

The Top 16 Security Predictions by Company or Magazine

Here’s your annual one-stop roundup of what security experts are telling us will happen next….

1) Symantec: Symantec leads with attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Apple iOS attacks growing dramatically. An impressive Symantec list of 2016 security predictions overall.

2) Last December, Raytheon/Websense successfully predicted 2015 health-care concerns in their security predictions overview. This year, Raytheon/Websense leads with predictions about attacker trends (increased abuse of newly created infrastructure), end-user behavior in a post-privacy society and evolving business behaviors as a result of cyberattacks and data breaches — including a surge in cyber insurance.

3) McAfee (Intel Security): McAfee Labs offer a five-year cybersecurity look ahead in infographic form. They predict a growing attack surface, difficult-to-detect cyberattacks, new device types and much more. They also cover growth in “integrity attacks” where hackers change the data to do harm.

4) FireEye: FireEye offers a free prediction report on their 2016 webcast which leads with security concerns with Apple devices in 2016 as well as IoT security problems.

5) Trend Micro: Trend Micro leads with “2016 will be the year of online extortion.” Second, “At least one consumer-grade smart device failure will be lethal in 2016.”

I really like Trend Micro’s presentation of their 2016 security predictions. In fact, I give them top honors for the best online graphics, clearest presentation, and easiest-to-understand security prediction summary of all security companies and bloggers I reviewed. After each straight-forward prediction, you can click on the button to get more details.

6) Kaspersky: The Kaspersky blog offers a nice narrative of various cyber trends that could lead to major events in 2016. Some of these include: “Blackmailing and squeezing money for stolen photos and hacked accounts.”

Also car hacks will grow: Culprits probably won’t focus on the systems themselves, but rather on the special protocols, which are implemented to enable communications between cars. “Compromise them — and you’ll be able to send fake commands to cars. These actions can lead to crashes of expensive cars and even to lethal consequences. …”

7) Sophos: Sophos offers their 2016 cybersecurity threat predictions. Like others, they lead with mobile threats rising, IoT platform vulnerabilities and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) seeing more attacks.

8) Alert Logic: Alert Logic offers some optimistic 2016 predictions about the cloud — such as: “2016 will be the first year people choose cloud because of the security benefits.” This sets them apart and puts them in the top group.

9) Network World: Network World’s Jon Oltsik again offers this list, a bit different from other predictions. Leading his 2016 prediction list were: “Greater focus on cyber supply chain security, and the consumerization of authentication.” He also predicted that cyber insurance is set to boom (with others who predicted this).

10) IDC: IDC offers many technology predictions for the CIO Agenda, with #6 By 2016, 70% of IT organizations will shift their focus to advanced ‘contain and control’ security and away from a perimeter mentality.

“It’s time for organizations to reframe their security from the old, reactive threat-oriented model to an advanced, proactive, predictive, and integrity-oriented approach,” says Mike Rosen, vice president of research with IDC’s IT Executive Programs (IEP).

11) IBM: IBM offers several intriguing 2016 security predictions. A few include:

(More) companies and governments to use block-chain encryption.
Cyber intelligence as a service is coming.
Vulnerability curators will become prevalent.
More data breaches will lead to spikes in cyber-spending.
Financial orgs create own fusion centers — leave managed security services.

12) Computer Science Corp. (CSC): Dan Hushon, CSC’s chief technology officer, offers technology trends to watch. Some predictions are on security such as: “As context increases, cybertargets increase.” That is, as data becomes more contextually rich, it becomes more valuable to the enterprise — and to cybercriminals as well.

13) Business Insider offers: “How vulnerable IoT devices are changing the cybersecurity landscape.” This is a deeper look at vulnerable IoT systems:

– Research has repeatedly shown that many IoT device manufacturers and service providers are failing to implement common security measures in their products.

– Hackers could exploit these new devices to conduct data breaches, corporate or government espionage, and damage critical infrastructure like electrical grids.

– Investment in securing IoT devices will increase five-fold over the next five years as adoption of these devices picks up.

14) Forbes Magazine Online: Forbes leads their security prediction list for 2016 with the “leadership over luck theme.” Here’s an excerpt:

Unfortunately in most respects, 2016 won’t change much: users will still click on malicious links; IT will still be bad at patching; the bad guys will still attack; and the tide of misery from breaches will continue. What matters most is whether your organization will be a victim or not. Of course you could do nothing, and be lucky. But the only way to control your fate is to lead your organization to high ground based on a well-considered, security-first strategy. …