Five IT Security Trends to Watch
Advances in technology happen constantly and fast and that is why IT professionals are expected get recertification and keep updating their knowledge and skills. In the IT industry, opportunities keep shifting because a piece of technology may be sold out today but rendered obsolete in the future. It is therefore important for IT professionals to keep up with emerging trends so that they can tap into emerging opportunities. Cyber security is still an area that has not yet been fully protected under the law and most companies fall victim to cyber attacks with no clear path to justice. On the other hand, hackers breach secure company networks without any fear of being penalized while companies face penalties when a breach occurs and they failed to protect customer data.
Security threats do not exist randomly but are built upon by hackers. They develop a trend that identifies weak areas in company systems and are not strictly monitored and build up on their previous breaches. Companies can stay on top of this by studying previous breaches and identifying the hacker’s patterns so that they can fortify their systems and avoid future breaches. The IT department of the company should have the latest technology at their disposal in order for the company to have a better fighting chance. The security professionals also need to undergo every possible security training to ensure they are capable of dealing with cyber attacks. Hackers will keep exploiting weaknesses in company systems and IT professionals need to stay vigilant.
Here are 5 security trends to watch in 2018 and beyond:
Cyber criminals capitalize on the cloud because it is a great untapped frontier. The nature of cloud computing leaves it vulnerable to new generation hacker exploits. IT security professionals will find themselves with the job of protecting the cloud space of the company they work for whether they like it or not. Explicit study of AWS administration or Azure will allow you to establish cloud services that are strong and secure. IT professionals can register for training on the Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions training courses which cover monitoring and security details. After completion of the training, security pros aim to get their credentials as a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP). This establishes that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to create secure cloud services and is an advantage when you are seeking employment. Many companies have a high demand for IT professionals who can secure their cloud because it is a sensitive security area for them and most hackers take advantage of it.
Internet of Things
Devices that are embedded with electronics, sensors, software, connectivity and actuators like vehicles, home appliances, phones are connected through a network that allows them to communicate with each other. This network is the internet of things (IoT). With more and more devices being internet enabled, there is a great concern for eavesdropping. Companies require employees in sensitive positions to disclose their IoT devices in order for proper security measures to be put in place. Having the latest security measures placed on your IoT devices is not enough as you may still experience breaches. It is important to be extremely vigilant when it comes to your IoT devices. The best course of action is to integrate advanced firewall rules so that unauthorized communication from devices is closely monitored and prevented. IT professionals need to undergo the CompTIA Security+ training in order for them to be brought up to speed on implementing the required firewall features and traffic analysis tools. Creating awareness is the biggest step in ensuring that employees understand the possible avenues hackers use for their exploits and the dire consequences that arise from it. If they do not know about it, they will most likely not know the importance of installing the recommended security measures.
Ransomware is a malicious software that gains access to files in someone’s or a company’s systems and threatens to publish the information if a ransom is not received. This mostly falls under the cryptocurrency domain whereby hackers request to be paid using cryptocurrencies which are untraceable. The software blocks the user from gaining access to their files and only accesses them using a decryption key provided by the hacker. Knowledgeable IT professionals are capable of reversing this intrusion. Ransomware attacks are mostly carried out by a Trojan that looks like a legitimate file which appears as an email attachment and when the user opens it or downloads it, the virus infects their files. Companies have fallen victim to ransomware attacks which cost them millions and in 2018, it is certain that these attacks will keep advancing. IT professionals need to install advanced filtering methods as well as train employees of the company on how to spot suspicious emails. The ransomware attacks have brought about an experience that has taught IT professionals that the best way to fight hackers is to become hackers themselves. That is why there is the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker training course to bring security pros up to speed on entry avenues hackers use and how they disguise their work to look like legitimate traffic. This allows them to have a better chance of detecting and preventing a potential disaster.
VIP Spoofware is another way hackers use to defraud companies of millions of dollars and 2018 is going to experience this security breach further. Apparently, hackers are becoming increasingly adaptive to security measures by the fact that they now create infected files that pass the legitimacy tests that have been put in place by security professionals. Hackers disguise fake emails to appear as legitimate emails and to come from an important source within the company. For example, an issue may seem to come from the president of a company requesting certain favors which are aimed at benefitting the hacker. Employees need to be thoroughly trained in order for them to beware of such attacks and countercheck information that they come across. Ultimately, the best way to prevent such attacks is to secure mail relays which will allow the company to prevent VIP Spoofware before it arrives in the corporate network. This will reduce spam emails finding their way to employees’ email and protect company files from being accessed by hackers.
People no longer rely on work issued devices to carry out their duties, they bring their own devices to work which are filled with multiple vulnerabilities. Employees want to use their personal devices for communication and other work related assignments. IT departments face a major challenge when it comes to securing exchange of data outside the office. Android devices are particularly the ones that experience the most vulnerability and there is set to be an increase in these vulnerabilities in 2018. Hackers have devised means to push their exploits through the Google Play Store’s security screening which affects most android devices. Android devices are a must have for most people in this technological era. The ability to access the internet wherever you are, whenever you are is addicting and nobody wants to pass up that opportunity. Mobile phones are especially loaded with applications some of which do not come from trusted sources and could have vulnerabilities that could affect the entire file system of the phone as well as nearby devices. This problem could be dealt with by IT professionals enhancing their MDM (mobile device management) skills by taking training courses and sitting for the Windows 10 Configuring Windows Devices (70-697) exam. This training will enable them to learn how to use Microsoft Intune to manage their personal devices and that of the employees of the company. This will reduce the vulnerabilities that may occur on employees’ personal devices.
The year 2018 is set to be like any other with the exception that technology grows every single day. The innovation of new technological devices and software is something that will never slow down anytime soon because with technology, when you think you have seen something absolutely amazing, a better thing comes up soon afterwards. For hackers, this reality applies to them too. Just like a virus adapts to a host’s immunity system, they keep coming up with viruses that can bypass whatever state of the art security systems companies come up with.
For an IT professional, this means that you need to remain vigilant and up to date with the latest security measures and acquire the security certifications that you need to polish so that you can be an asset for your company. The moment your certification expires, you should not be reluctant to get a recertification as it keeps you viable in your career field. Technology is taking over every sector from medical care to manufacturing up to education and there is always the need to place strong security measures in place in order to allow businesses and establishes to function properly and achieve their full potential. While being able to stay ahead of the hackers may seem like an impossible dream, it is possible for security pros to stay prepared and ready to deal with any eventualities that arise from security breaches.