Predictions for 2016

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The association of Charles Dickens with Christmas is more or less indelible. And as the holiday period begins, the words of the great author seem rather appropriate if not altogether apposite as one, as one tends to do at this time of year, looks back at the events of 2015 in the world of Infosecurity. But it is not to A Christmas Carol that we should consider, but instead to A Tale of Two Cities and its very famous opening. To wit: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness.”

It was a bit of a year wasn’t it? There was certainly a lot of light, darkness and incredulity. it was a year when it seemed that there was a significant breach almost every week.

A year when Talk Talk transformed itself from being a mere leading telco to being a case study in how not to do it when it comes to reacting to a security breach. A year when everyone, much to the shock and horror of the rather discreet membership, got to know about Ashley Madison.  A year when Chrysler had to respond to the news that control of its Jeeps, including steering, could be taken over by hackers exploiting holes in the in-car entertainment system. A year when the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that highly sensitive background-check data on 21.5 million individuals had been stolen in a successful attack on its systems.

A year when the battle between privacy and state data access was as hot as ever, with the UK government passing a bill immediately denounced as a snooper’s charter. A year when the internet of things was transformed into a new, widespread attack surface. Oh and a year when security industry ‘legend’  John McAfee returned from exile with a spring in his step, announcing new technology, denouncing old enemies and even revealing a potential run for the US presidency next year.

But despite all of the above, it was also a year that the security industry can be proud of. It was also the year when cyber-security leapt out of the laboratory and IT bunker and into not only the boardroom but also the mainstream. In fact 2015 witnessed the launch of two prime-time TV series, CSI Cyber and Mr. Robot. Everyone now knows about IT security and hopefully armed with such knowledge people at work or at home will engage with it in a more robust manner.

The UK government even committed £1.9 billion to cybersecurity over the course of the current parliament including a National Cyber Centre designed to act as a single point of contact to simplify and strengthen government effort on cybersecurity and improve engagement with industry.

So the future looks bright for 2016 as government, business and public alike join the battle against cyber-criminals, hacktivists and state actors. But, and a really big but, the work will never end: the sheer amount, variety and innovation in attacks will see to that.

So what do those leading the industry think will happen in 2016? Find out here

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