While keeping ahead of what’s happening right now, security professionals also need to be looking ahead at what’s coming. It’s a fast-paced industry, but that’s what keeps it exciting. Let’s take a look at a few of the networks security trends to watch for this year.
Cracking the password problem
Passwords aren’t safe enough. Security professionals are calling for a better way, stronger protection, demanding a better authentication process. Motorola is already working on a number of alternatives that involve biometrics; think electronic tattoos and password pills. Biometrics are especially likely to play a big role in authentication on mobile devices in the next year. Apples iPhone 5S already has a fingerprint scanner, and expect Android to follow shortly.
Harder to access more secure clouds
As more and more data moves to the cloud, and more and more data is removed from the cloud by hackers, expect access to cloud storage from unsecured connections to decrease. Securing data at the host site is not enough when employees are accessing data from unsecure public WiFi at coffee shops and airports. Cloud security is at the top of Georgia Tech’s list of emerging cyber threats for 2014, so expect more employee education about cloud security and get ready to start blocking access to data stored on clouds from unsecured networks. The technology already exists to stop it, and is likely to see greater use in the upcoming year.
Increased mobile malware
Mobile security is not keeping up with mobile access to the web. Many people still believe that they don’t need to protect their phones. Those people might be accessing your network from their mobile device. As #BYOD picks up speed, so will the mobile malware threat. In the third quarter of 2013, mobile malware jumped 26% from the second quarter according to F-Secure’s mobile threat report. Short of banning employees from accessing your network from an Android (97% of malware is targeted to Androids), it’s going to be difficult to keep on top of this threat. You should ensure your network access policies are current and include users having anti-malware on their mobile devices, and definitely use endpoint encryption.
The people problem
No matter how advanced the technology or well-thought out the policies, you can’t always account for sloppy human behavior. Educate your employees; keep your software patched, and monitor networks for corruption diligently. Expect hackers and employees to thwart your best efforts at network security, and prepare to deal with the situation when it occurs. People are still the biggest threat to network security.
It should be an interesting year. Hopefully we’ll come out of it more secure with better options for passwords, stronger cloud security, better educated employees and safer mobile devices.