News Feature | December 23, 2016

Cyber Threat Predictions For 2017 And Beyond

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Security Threat Understanding

Authentication technology, machine learning, and probabilistic tools gain ground to combat threats.

The cyber threat landscape continues to be ever changing and complicated, and 2017 will see more of the same. Experts predict the New Year will witness an escalation of attack methods that emerged this year, while new and dynamic fraud attacks will also emerge as cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated and organized in their approaches. As organizations try and stay one step ahead of today’s sophisticated cybercriminals, total fraud protection company Easy Solutions expects to see an increase in adoption of authentication technology, machine learning, and probabilistic tools. 

Easy Solutions also predicts organizations will put an increased focus on systematic approaches to information security and anti-fraud. OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act), Cyber Kill Chain, and Reflexive Control theory will all serve as guides to risk management decisions, risk measurement, and implementation of effective controls. Among Easy Solutions predictions are:

  • Machine Learning will prove its worth in fraud detection over legacy expert rules.
  • Global financial institutions will move their methods to passive session risk identification and analyzing transaction data technology in order to minimize friction and improve customer satisfaction.
  • 2017 will also see the rise of Biometrics over SMS-based One-time Password (OTP) technologies for authentication.
  • Probabilistic tools will also be on the rise, replacing blacklists and expert rules and redefining how risk is measured, how actions are coordinated, and how risk reporting is conducted.
  • Contactless payments will be on the rise. According to Paul Wilson, Easy Solutions Product Manager, “We will continue to see a massive increase in the number of contactless payments, particularly in Canada, Australia, and the U.K. Transactions are happening pretty much transparently, causing customers to want to keep tabs on their spending through mobile applications like Push. Shopping is easy, so authentication and fraud checks need to get easier, too.”
  • As cybercriminals become more determined, businesses must pay closer attention to brand protection. David Lopez, Easy Solutions’ LATAM Sales Director explains, “Cybercriminals mimic legitimate brands by imitating logos, emails, websites, and mobile applications — and they’re not going to stop in 2017.” That means companies need to pay close attention to social media, establish domain monitoring, protect email chains, and remove rogue mobile applications.
  • Mobile Fraud will be on the rise, particularly in Asia, as more people turn to mobile banking.

According to Adam Meyer, chief security strategist at SurfWatch Labs, if 2016 marked the year hacking went mainstream, 2017 will be the year hackers innovate, as Tech Republic reported. Meyer predicts, “2017 will be the year of increasingly creative attacks. Cybercriminals follow the money trail,” and ransomware attacks exploded because they are “cheap to operate and many organizations are not yet applying the proper analysis and decision-making to appropriately defend against this threat.”

Stephen Gates, chief research intelligence analyst at NSFOCUS also thinks ransomware and extortion will be on the rise in 2017, with a resurgence of the self-propagating worms of the past like Conficker, Nimda, and Code Red armed with ransomware payloads capable of infecting hundreds of machines in a small window of time.