Cyber Security Predictions 2019: More nations to develop offensive cyber capabilities, says FireEye

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Sanjay Singh
Sanjay Singh
Sanjay Singh covers startups, consumer electronics and telecom for

Cyber Security Predictions 2019: With technologies like artificial intelligence, and cloud computing enabling new innovation and business models, there has been significant growth in the digital transformation journey of both enterprises and public sector organisation across the globe. But this transformation is also bringing a new kind of challenge related to cyber security.

Various reports suggest that with advancement in technology, the attackers have also become sophisticated and advanced. In many cyber attack cases, they are not leaving any traceable spot. Along with this, nations are trying to improve their cyber espionage capabilities. This has really compounded the impact that a cyber attack could have on a nation or large organisation.

So like every year, to understand how space is going to be in 2019, vendor has come up with Cyber Security Predictions 2019 report. The company emphasised that in 2019, the attacks on supply chain, cloud, aviation industry are likely to increase. The senior executives also stressed that more nations will develop offensive cyber capabilities. “As we have seen with the rise of Iran, North Korea, and Vietnam over the past few years, we can expect many other emerging cyber nations to come to the fore in 2019,” said report.

Top Cyber Security Trends for 2019

Attackers are increasingly targeting the supply chain due to its weakness.
Attackers are increasingly targeting the supply chain due to its weakness. (Photo: Agency)

Attackers Eyeing the Cloud

The bad guys go where the money is, and throughout 2019 there will be an increasing number of opportunities for attackers in the cloud. With cloud, there’s a whole chunk of attack surface that doesn’t have advanced technology to detect evil.

Supply Chain as a Weakness

In 2019, we expect to observe an increase in both state sponsored and financially motivated supply chain attacks. As organizations have improved their posture and built up their perimeter defenses, attackers will shift their focus to compromising third party vendors, customers or partners with the goal of gaining access to a target’s network.

Threats Targeting the Aviation Industry

While we should stay attuned to cyber-enabled physical threats to aircraft and supporting systems, a far more common threat that security teams in the aviation industry must be prepared to defend against is cyber espionage. Due its pervasive nature, the best defense against cyber espionage is rapid, detailed information sharing with context.

The Restructuring of Chinese Cyber Espionage

We believe notable restructuring in the Chinese cyber espionage apparatus has taken place since at least 2016, resulting in a resumption in the pace of activity. We assess that this reorganization will inform the growth and geographic expansion of Chinese cyber espionage activity through 2020 and beyond. Cyber espionage activity related to the China’s Belt and Road Initiative will likely include the emergence of new groups and nation-state actors. Given the range of geopolitical interests affected by this endeavor, it may be a catalyst for emerging nation-state cyber actors to use their capabilities.

Cyber Capabilities of Nation States

In 2019 and beyond, we expect to see more nations developing offensive cyber capabilities. As we have seen with the rise of Iran, North Korea, and Vietnam over the past few years, we can expect many other emerging cyber nations to come to the fore in 2019. Iranian attackers in particular will continue to improve capabilities, even as we see new, less capable groups emerge supporting Iranian government goals.

The Rise in Breaches Due to Lack of Attribution and Accountability

Attribution and accountability are two of the biggest sticking points when it comes to winning the war in cyberspace. Without risks and repercussions for malicious activity carried out on the internet, attackers will keep attacking and organizations will keep getting breached.

The Widening Skills Gap and Lack of Trained Experts to Fill Security Roles

According to various industry estimates, there are two or three million cyber security jobs that will go unfilled by the year 2020. We haven’t quite hit the critical meltdown point when it comes to staffing. The good news is that the pain is there, and the thinking is changing.

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