Cyber Security 2016

2015 has seen a vast array of breaches, hacks, and new technologies designed to stop the bleeding of critical data from within organizations. As we embark on 2016, BeyondTrust would like to share some predictions for the next year and a few wish list items we would like to see become reality. As cyber security goes, we unfortunately have not hit the peak of attacks and disclosures. That pinnacle is still to come.


The hype around biometrics for authentication will burst and lead to additional crimes against identities

This fall brought news that the victims of the OPM fingerprint breach expanded to over 5 million prints. It’s for this reason that the safety of biometric data should really be questioned and discounted as a viable means for authentication. Multiple techniques are available for using this very type of information to create fake fingerprints to bypass biometric scanners, plant false fingerprints, or even falsify applications that need fingerprint data using traditional ink techniques. While vendors gather around biometrics as a holy grail for authentication, it is breaches like this that put the entire concept in jeopardy for the masses.

In 2016, we will see massive security vendor consolidation and thinning of the masses from single vendor point solutions

The security market is incredibly fragmented with vendors covering next generation firewalls, alternatives to endpoint antivirus, single sign on, and other account management solutions. In addition, many of these solutions are from single product, single vendor companies and have competitors fighting for business on premise and in the cloud; thus multiplying the number of offerings. The big vendors like RSA, HP, IBM, and CA are only dabbling in the space so far and I believe in 2016 a massive consolidation will occur with company mergers and big acquisitions as they attempt to address the latest hot buttons in security.

Single-use credit cards numbers or 2 step authentication will become attractive option for curbing comprised credit card information

Chip and Pin or chip and sign do not solve the online purchase dilemma. In the mid 2000’s, a number of organizations such as Discover and Paypal offered users the option to create one-time-use credit card numbers that were tied to their person accounts. Given that we don’t see the rate of breaches slowing down, we will need to find other means to make compromised credit card numbers less useful to hackers. This can be addressed with single-site or single-use cards. Additionally, similar to logging in to Google, Microsoft, Facebook or Dropbox and being prompted for an authentication pin that is texted to you, this could be a way to let users get more involved in authorizing purchases. This is similar to the past practice of generating a card number for use at then providing details to the exact charge amount.


A true username and password replacement

While no viable solution exists yet to solve this problem, biometrics is being positioned as the holy grail to bury this legacy approach to authorization and authentication. This approach could have massive security ramifications if the biometric data itself is ever compromised like the OPM breach. A method to validate a person and their permissions without the risk of biometric data loss would solve many of the data breach problems we have been experiencing.

Secure, always-on communications for all mobile devices

With the proliferation of modern man in middle attacks, the fears of using public Wi-Fi and foreign Internet connections have spelled doom for mobile users that want to access sensitive information through the Internet. I would like to see a solution that allows mobile devices to have a secure connection regardless of their location and transport to perform the tasks a user needs to perform, when they want to perform it, without the fair of sniffing, surveillance or hacking.

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