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The Future of Cyber Security

Cyber-attacks have been on the rise, with millions of users personal details and sensitive data being exposed, "Cybersecurity experts predict that in 2021 there will be a cyberattack incident every 11 seconds. This is nearly twice what it was in 2019 (every 19 seconds), and four times the rate five years ago (every 40 seconds in 2016)," said Robert McKay, a senior vice president of risk solutions at Neustar in an interview with TechNewsWorld. Further, there has been an increasing number of ransomware attacks, and as these numbers continue to rise it is important to recognise the importance of cybersecurity and to understand what the future holds for the industry, as well as watching out for trends to expect this year.

The cost of online security and data breaches can be astronomical, both for companies and for individual victims, and the frequency of these attacks have been rising since the start of last year as more people are working from home due to the pandemic, meaning many are less protected from cyberattacks as they spend more time online. As many cybercriminals are adapting their methods, many businesses have been switching to cloud-based SaaS as a way to adapt to the new work-from-home culture, meaning a massive increase in demand and growth in the market for SaaS solutions.

Cybersecurity Ventures put out a report that predicts the financial damage that comes as a result of cybercrime to reach around $6 trillion by the end of 2021, McKay agrees and states that numerous analysts have given indication that cybercrime is on the rise, especially in the United States where industry studies show that they are one of the fastest growing crimes across the region. Both cybersecurity vendors and cybercriminals are continuously developing solutions or methods to compete with one another, with one side racing to develop products that can identify and mitigate risks and threats, and the other developing and enhancing malware that will bypass the protections put in place by the former.

As solutions and methods develop and improve, so does the wider technology industry, one of the biggest buzzwords in recent years has been Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has made this competitive exchange more complex. Max Heinemeyer, the Director of Threat Hunting at AI security firm Darktrace, states that it is only a matter of time before AI is co-opted by malicious actors to automate attacks and expedite the discovery of vulnerabilities, in an

According to Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting at AI security firm Darktrace, it is only a matter of time before AI is co-opted by malicious actors to automate attacks and expedite the discovery of vulnerabilities.

Over the last few years many professionals in the field have notes that intelligence-based services are currently ill-equipped to handle the pace of the modern online threat landscape, as these new threat types and attack methods emerge, these legacy tools that identify incoming attacks are now strong enough unless they are updated with new intelligence.

This problem will only be aggravated by the emergence of offensive AI, which will allow cybercriminals to automate attacks in a way never before seen, as well as to identify potential exploits at a faster rate. "Strategically, security practitioners must continue to pivot away from preventative-based security architecture into resilience-based security architecture," says Time Wade, technical director of the CTO Team at Vectra AI, in an interview with TechNewsWorld. The best defense such adversaries is acknowledging that you cannot stop them. But then focus on making their lives as difficult as possible, Wade said. In order to combat fast-moving malware and complex threats, security firms like Darktrace are using AI to automate detection and mitigation, but the company differs from its rivals by using unsupervised machine learning which does not involve training the system on pre-existing datasets. The Darktrace company are instead using a platform that plugs into an environment to establish a definition of normal, and is then able to flag any abnormal activity on a device or network that might indicate a cyberattack or existing compromise.

Organisations that are making long-term or permanent shifts to work from home, should ensure their security teams are developing arrangements and make essential updates to security policies, processes and technologies. Further, companies that are attempting to mitigate increasing and developing complexities of risk should increase their reliance and investment on automation, with the use of technologies that use AI and machine learning that can perform constant data analytics on monitored security event data.

Security analysts have a much large scope of impact than their specific industry, the field of cybersecurity reaches into the world of politics, economics, and other sectors across the world.

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