Next U.S. President will Face a ‘Major Cyber-Crisis’ in 2017

Whichever presidential candidate moves into the White House in January can expect to face a “major cyber-crisis” within 100 days as enterprises across the country struggle to “defend against escalating, dynamic security and privacy risk,” warns a new report from Forrester Research Inc.

That was one of several cyber-security predictions the research firm has made in its latest report, “2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape The Future In The Age Of The Customer.” In the report, Forrester says that incidents of denial of service attacks, ransomware, targeted espionage and privacy breaches will escalate dramatically in the next year, and warns that the effects of those events will be “significant.”

Forrester says in its report that we can expect to witness a number of dramatic events related to cyber-attacks in 2017, and makes the bold prediction that at least one Fortune 1000 company will fail due to a cyber-breach. Forrester also predicts that healthcare breaches will become as common as retail breaches in the next year, and says that at least 500,000 Internet of Things devices will become compromised in the same time frame.

This escalation of cyber-threats will have extremely negative consequences for people’s privacy too, Forrester says. Because of the growing risk, U.S. government agencies will likely push to expand their surveillance technologies, leading to legal and ethical conflicts between them and law-abiding citizens who are growing increasingly wary of living in a “Big Brother” state.

What’s worrying is that a couple of Forrester’s predictions have almost come true already this year. A recent report from the Identity Theft Resource Center shows that the medical and healthcare sector suffered 293 data breaches this year, resulting in the exposure of more than 14 million private records. Meanwhile the business sector has been hit by 354 data breaches this year, exposing some 2.5 million records, according to the same report.


Elsewhere, a Distributed Denial of Service attack aimed at Dyn Domain Name Service servers in the middle of last month is believed to have been carried out by an IoT botnet of at least 100,000 endpoints, researchers at Arbor Networks have claimed. They say the “Mirai botnet” could have been much larger than this estimate. In fact, the Internet of Things could very well prove to be the number one cyber-security menace in 2017 for organizations that aren’t proactive enough to defend against the threat, Forrester said.
“IoT also represents a two-pronged threat in 2017 — potentially exposing businesses to security breaches and IoT devices themselves being turned into DDoS weapons,” the report reads.

Forrester’s predictions that the next president will face a major cyber-crisis, and that a Fortune 1000 company will fail, may not be so far-fetched either. A mini-crisis has already been brewing over allegations that Russian hackers attacked the Democratic National Committee and other targets in an effort to manipulate the U.S. elections. And the recent hack of the SWIFT payments system that led to an incredible $81 million fraudulent transfer from Bangladesh Bank highlights just how damaging such incidents can be.

 

Source: Wheatley, Mike. via SiliconAngle

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