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The Lockdown

Thycotic’s Cyber Security Blog

Cyber Security Awareness Month: 5 Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

Written by Joseph Carson

October 18th, 2017

The matter of cyber security is rapidly becoming part of everyone’s daily life. But you can no longer keep your personal and work security habits and precautions separate. In the past cyber-attacks were usually only a concern in the workplace, but today cyber-attacks are so common they affect everyone connected to the internet.

Cyber-attacks are going to be the biggest threat to every person and business, and will be the trigger for future wars and political instability

Cyber-attacks do not discriminate. Regardless of your demographics, you are a potential victim. Attacks are typically either opportunistic or targeted for financial gain. The victim could be anyone from a child playing computer games on dad’s office laptop to an employee checking emails. Both are equally vulnerable.

What is facilitating today’s cyber breaches? It comes down to three major factors: the Human Factor, Identities and Credentials, and Vulnerabilities.  Given the digital structure of our lives today, chances are you share a lot more personal information than ever before. This in turn exposes you to social engineering and targeted spear phishing attacks. The goal is to compromise your devices for financial fraud, or steal your identity in order to access your accounts or company accounts you are entrusted with protecting. If your identity has access to your company’s privileged accounts, attackers can easily carry out malicious attacks in your name.

Here are 5 of my predictions for tomorrow’s internet. Are you ready for this?

#1 Privacy will be gone but not forgottenis this even reversible?

How to protect your online privacy in the future

The end of privacy as we know it is closer than you may think.  Privacy definitions are very different between nation states and cultures, but one common fact is that privacy is becoming less of an option for most citizens.

In public, almost everyone is being watched and monitored 24/7, with thousands of cameras using your expressions, fashion, walk, routes, interactions and speech to determine what you need, what you might be thinking, who you are going to meet, and who is nearby. Algorithms even determine what your next action might be.  All of this is to provide a custom experience that’s unique for everyone, as well as to predict and prevent security threats. The term ‘if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear’ is becoming reality.

#2 Ransomware will evolve to cross platforms, and payments will be single-click

Are in-app purchases safe?

Yes, ransomware is going to be platform-agnostic and will lock people out of any device or system. The financial payment for ransomware is going to evolve significantly—it will be as easy as clicking once to pay the ransom seekers.  It will target time sensitive systems and events, so watch out World Cup next year! As always cyber-crime will always be looking for major events to trick people wanting to get access to their favorite sport or concerts.  RansomScare will be the next threat. This will involve life or death situations unless a ransom is paid.

#3 Blockchain will become an essential cyber security control

Most people are familiar with blockchain being the building blocks for cryptocurrencies and transactions, though many are not familiar with its ability to provide non-repudiation or data integrity when related to cyber security.

Blockchain was used heavily in the early digital systems when Estonia primarily used it to ensure history could not be re-written, and this mind-set can be repeated in security when it comes to the integrity of systems and data.  Blockchain can be used for multiple different attributes like ensuring data is not poisoned, that chain of custody does not manipulate the data in digital forensics, and for security log integrity.  Blockchain is an ever-increasing trend in cyber security.

#4 Governments and encryption will go head-to-head

Encryption and the battle with governments

It’s clear that governments hate not being able to spy on people, and encryption is making it harder for governments to gather intelligence about other nations’ activities—foe or ally—either for political advantage, economic advantage or espionage.  It’s surprising that, while this was typically for gathering intelligence on other nation states, it has now become common practice for nation states to monitor their own citizens, as disclosed by Edward Snowden.

With more people using VPN and encryption, or messaging apps that have end-to-end encryption, we are going to see a head-to-head battle between governments and technology, especially when it relates to security and terrorism.

#5 Humans will be connected directly to the internet

Human beings will be directly connected to the internet

Even today, humans are almost constantly connected to the internet.  With things like shopping and technology being intertwined, and with the personalized internet experience already a reality, the next generation will only know a life continuously connected to the internet.

And I mean they will literally be connected to the internet—not through a device.  With augmented reality and virtual reality, we are going to need to think twice to determine which world we are really in, as in the Matrix. Would you swallow the blue or the red pill?

More Cyber Security Awareness Month Posts:

Cyber Security in the Workplace is Everyone’s Responsibility


What makes IAM, PIM, PAM and the other acronyms so confusing?

Get the answers—and check out our interactive ACRONYM DICTIONARY