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Competitors Flout Rules in a Digital Cold War

Emerging information security threats will continue to impact business, and the Threat Horizon 2021 published by Information Security Forum (ISF) forecasts nine major threats that organizations can expect to face over the next two years.

Among the threats that will likely come from increased advancements in technology, ISF predicts the internet of things (IoT) will not only continue to proliferate but that digital connectivity resulting from IoT expansion will expose hidden dangers.

As our lives and our businesses become more dependent on connectivity, ISF forecasts that organizations will continue to face existing security challenges with new ones coming to light.

"Vulnerabilities will be shared across interconnected systems; malware attacks will be amplified by superfast networks; and business models using machine learning techniques will become a prime attack target. Nation states will exploit this digitisation, creating the battlefield for a new digital cold war," the report said.

This digital cold war is expected to cause significant damage to business, and ISF foresees that "The race to develop strategically important, next generation technologies will provoke a period of intense nation state-backed espionage – intellectual property (IP) will be targeted as the battle for economic and military dominance rages on," according to a press release.

"By 2021 the world will be heavily digitized. Technology will enable innovative digital business models and society will be critically dependent on technology to function," said Steve Durbin, managing director, ISF. "This new hyperconnected digital era will create an impression of stability, security and reliability. However, it will prove to be an illusion that is shattered by new vulnerabilities, relentless attacks and disruptive cyber threats."

Competition in the digital marketplace will challenge not only social norms but existing regulatory frameworks, according to the report. What will likely result, said ISF, is that current rulebooks will be tossed out. The report said organizations will see more frequent vulnerability disclosures, but by 2021, the time to fix will be lessened.

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