Digital crimes are no longer a fantasy. We’re currently on the crossroads when scam, theft, and fraud on the web pose a more severe threat than offline ones. Why? We’ve been honing our protection methods from the crooks of all kinds for millennia. At the same time, online fraud is something that has existed for less than a half-a-century, making us vulnerable to virtual shenanigans.
Especially disadvantaged here are digital tech platforms and businesses that are dealing with money exclusively online. And while technology companies are using online banking systems just for payments, there are also industries where the whole business activity is built on cash transactions over the web. Specifically, online gambling, e-banking, and crypto are in the vanguard of cybersecurity development, as the profit here depends on how the online payment systems are secure and resistant to hacker attacks.
For example, tempting targets for hackers, most credible online casinos, use the most sophisticated security systems to protect the accounts of their users. These are technologies like single-socket layer (SSL), advanced encryption standards (AES), Anti-DDoS, and extra secure payment gates coming from top-notch software providers. The same methods are used by popular e-wallets, online betting holdings, crypto exchanges, and beyond. But is that enough to be safe from harm in 2020?
Let’s explore a bunch of innovative cybersecurity solutions that might become industry standards in the nearest future.
Artificial Intelligence as a Groundwork for the Future Security
We know that AI is a buzzword that is used as a future trend in literally every industry. Cybersecurity is no exception, aside from the specific peculiarity here — the issue is twofold. More advanced, AI-powered software opens new loopholes for hackers, at least in the early days. Being a new field for both villains and creators, AI systems will be vulnerable to a data breach because of poorly understood exploits.
On the other hand, AI can provide a range of security solutions as well. 69% of enterprises believe AI is necessary to respond to cyberattacks, according to Capgemini Research Institute. AI security tools will be able to learn based on past behavior and provide quick predictions of possible user activities when new interactions are detected.
Alert investigation conducted by humans can take from a couple of hours to days, as reported by 73% of respondents who took part in the SANS Institute SOC survey. AI is more sophisticated in terms of the time required for detecting threats and the reasons for them. These security solutions will be able to serve as a unified database with machine learning algorithms on top of that, creating a foundation for alerts to be resolved very soon.
GDPR, 3rd-party Cookie Phase-Out, and Other Privacy-Related Regulations
When it comes to consumer data collection, companies were almost all-powerful until quite recently. In 2018, GDPR was marked as one of the “EU businesses’ 1st step in cybersecurity”. Even though the new law doesn’t make the web a safer space for users, it resulted in more investments in cybersecurity overall, according to 62% of survey participants.
Companies have started to pay more attention to their data assets protection and more careful treatment of personally identifiable information (PII) retrieved from their consumers. Possible penalties set by GDPR undoubtedly played some role in attitude changes but also developed an entirely new, customer-centric approach to privacy.
Another major event in the industry is Google’s announcement to phase-out 3rd-party cookies by the end of 2022. The first harbinger of these changes was Chrome SameSite cookie update, where only 1st-party cookies can be accessed and used by default. To share cookie data with external companies, webmasters will have to change the cookie label in the website code. This way, 3rd-party cookies are still possible to access, but things will inevitably change in the next couple of years.
This decision ensures better consumer data safety, as cookies store a massive number of attributes with the info about users. This info is traditionally not PII, yet hackers still can get access to your device ID and other valuable data. The more websites have access, previously even non-consented one, to these cookies, the greater is the risk of this data being leaked elsewhere.
Even though privacy-related regulations affect more of an ethical side of the issue, the future tech will be only grateful to the new measures, as the amount of data will grow exponentially.
Moving from Threat-Centric to Data-Centric Approach
It's almost the same here. Just imagine: data breaches exposed 4.1B of records in the first half of 2019. If records were equivalent to people, and info leakage to something more tangible, that’s close to a half of Earth’s population ending up half-naked on the street. Current security strategies are obviously failing.
The step-by-step implementation of a more data-centric approach will involve the following. First, companies will have to gather their data in one place and classify it based on its value. This will help them to define which data needs more thorough protection. Next, businesses should adopt identity and access management (IAM) systems to grant access to the right data to the right users in the proper context, and never randomly.
Then, data encryption takes place, the principle of which should be transparent to the user. The possibility of sudden data loss also shouldn’t be forgotten. Thus, enterprises should implement data loss prevention solutions to avoid the case.
Cybersecurity Talent Development
JB Aviat, the co-founder of Sqreen, security software for app protection, indicates that the primary concern of modern cybersecurity is lack of talents. A huge talent shortage is critical as there are 100 developers for each security specialist.
Despite being highly automated, the future security application will still require a bright mind behind them. Enterprises will desperately demand security specialists with relevant skill sets, which the market can’t provide now. The only viable way for the companies is to invest in the education of their internal workforce, starting from today.
The Final Words
The evolving technology creates both security challenges and opportunities to overcome them. As the web becomes a more complex ecosystem overloaded with data, we’ll have to adapt the old and adopt the new. Will it be just the never-ending tech industry chase of its own tail? The time will show.