2019 Outlook: As cybercrime incidents continue, so are the means and technology to counter them

Why bots try to break the internet and other trends for 2019, according to Soeren Lindkvist, Vice President EMEA Carrier Division & Managing Director Middle East Region at Akamai Technologies
2019 Outlook: As cybercrime incidents continue, so are the means and technology to counter them
High-risk the industry is a long way from adequately securing its devices
By Soeren Lindkvist
Sat 05 Jan 2019 02:50 PM

Staying one step ahead of cybercriminals is crucial when it comes to protecting your company and customer data. But this is only possible if you have a good hold on short and long-term cybersecurity trends.

So, what does 2019 have in store? Smarter bots, complex clouds, Internet of Things (IoT) risks and data regulations will all dominate boardroom conversations. Here’s a summary of the trends that I think will make the year ahead as turbulent as the one that just passed.

Firstly, cyberattackes will grow. Organisations will see an increase in cyberattacks but these will be “low and slow”, rather than “noisy” incidents such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Launched by botnets, “low and slow” attacks aim to remain under the radar for as long as possible, to steal as much data as they can. Often, these take the form of credential stuffing attacks, where stolen credentials are used to access associated accounts and steal further personal data such as addresses and payment details. To protect themselves, businesses will need to adopt bot management solutions, which identify, categorise and respond to different bot types.

The year ahead will be as turbulent as the one that passed

The technology uses behaviour-based bot detection and continuous threat analysis to distinguish people from bots. Interestingly, bots are expected to overtake human web traffic. As bots become more sophisticated, more than 50 percent of web traffic will come from bots. Already, Akamai has found that 43 percent of all login attempts come from malicious botnets – and this is set to increase as credential stuffing and “low and slow” attacks grow in popularity.

More sophisticated bots will become capable of accurately mimicking human behaviour online – making it harder for bot solutions to detect and block their activities. Effective bot management tools are crucial for addressing this threat. They are able to use contextual information, such as IP addresses and past user behaviour data, to determine whether a visitor is a bot or human, therefore responding accordingly.

Moreover, multi-cloud strategies will complicated security management across platforms. Businesses adopting multi-cloud strategies will face increasingly complex challenges to ensure that security is consistently, and effectively, deployed across them all. With predictions that multi-cloud will be the most common cloud strategy next year, organisations that have successfully secured one cloud will need to replicate this across all their cloud portfolio to ensure that vulnerabilities are patched and nothing slips through the cracks. With many businesses already experiencing  breaches of their single-vendor solutions, we expect companies to seek out cloud-agnostic security solutions to simplify management across the enterprise.

Consumers will continue to put convenience ahead of security

Unfortunately, consumers will continue to put convenience ahead of security. While awareness of the insecurity of IoT devices is growing, millions of consumers will continue to ignore the risks, purchasing and using devices that lack comprehensive security solutions, from fitness trackers to smart-home apps. This could swell the armies of bots, which are being used to target enterprises. It is predicted that by 2020, over 25 percent of identified enterprise attacks will involve IoT, though IoT will account for only 10 percent of IT security budgets. While some governments have begun to introduce security standards for connected devices, the industry is a long way from adequately securing its devices. Lastly, blockchain technology will move from cryptocurrency to mainstream payments as they enable next-generation payment transactions to evolve rapidly. We expect to see more blockchain-powered payment platforms, being adopted by brand-name banks and consumer finance companies.


Soeren Lindkvist, Vice President EMEA Carrier Division & Managing Director Middle East Region at Akamai Technologies

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