“There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be” – Robert Mueller, FBI Director, 2012.
As per the Official 2017 Annual Cybercrime Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, there were 3.8 billion internet users in 2017 (51 percent of the world’s population of 7 billion) and there will be 6 billion internet users by 2022. The world’s digital content is expected to grow from 4 billion zettabytes last year to 96 zettabytes by 2020. Further, the report predicts Cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, which is an alarming trend.
No vertical is being spared from cyberattacks but Retail, Digital Commerce, Financial Services, Media and Entertainment, Government and Healthcare, seem to be getting affected the most.
If you don’t know your enemy, you cannot prepare for it. In this article, we talk about some of the emerging security challenges and also how evolving and advanced technologies are potentially laying out the foundation for new opportunities.
The Bane of Progress – Increased Attack Surfaces
With growing online applications and the drive for digital commerce, the need for information risk and security management has also been increasing extensively.
Apparently, bots create 59% of web traffic of which 40% are malicious. Online businesses that fail to address this head-on, are facing a range of implications such as poor customer experience from frustrated website visitors, lost revenue, fraudulent transactions, data theft, and other security breaches. This puts various businesses especially in the areas of Retail/Digital Commerce, Financial Services, Information & Media, Travel & Hospitality at significant risk.
The growing security threat is swelling beyond business ramifications. Indian Government’s well-organized digitization initiatives (India stack) especially in Financial Inclusion, Digital Identity & Healthcare is a commendable step with disruptive potential. Having said that, it runs the risk of exposing the databases and sensitive information to cybercriminals, thereby expanding the ramifications to politics and the nation.
While there is prevailing Networks (WAF, CDN, etc)/Host-based security platforms, neither do they have the ability to generate intelligent insights/analytics nor do they bring advanced capabilities required to secure applications from such automated Access & Abuse related attacks. At Endiya Partners, we have invested in ShieldSquare, a Company that offers Real-time Bot Management (from Online Behavioural Attacks) Solution for Web Apps, Mobile & APIs. ShieldSquare’s SaaS solution provides real-time protection and information security by utilizing multiple techniques (such as intent analysis, user behavior analysis, device fingerprinting, browser fingerprinting, IP reputation, and machine learning) to identify various bot attacks (such as account takeover, carding, price scraping, digital ad fraud, skewed analytics).
ShieldSquare is amongst the leading players globally and has grown rapidly, processing tens of billions of page views per month. The platform’s proprietary AI/ML engine combined with a unique deterministic approach to zero false positives and flexibility to business users to provide a customised response to various attacks have been the core driving factors for ShieldSquare’s global growth.
New Verticals Creating More Opportunities
Cloud & Endpoint
There is an exponential growth in cloud services solutions and the adoption of SaaS solutions in particular. Another growing trend is around mobility. With increasing SaaS adoption and growing BYOD trends, the action has moved away from network monitoring to the Cloud and Endpoint. Hence, the need to enhance the security of cloud infrastructure and the implementation of fundamental defense mechanisms for cybersecurity. This gives rise to new opportunities in secure data management & cloud security that allow enterprises to understand risk by providing predictive intelligence.
Another growing opportunity is around IoT security. Data growth is only expected to accelerate with the ever-expanding impact of the Internet of Things (IoT). The security of connected devices and the connected world (Home automation, Assisted Driving, Wearables, etc) has been a growing concern. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that there will be 20.4 billion connected devices by the year 2020. This includes autonomous systems, wearables, connected homes, etc. And the challenges to secure these devices are even greater. This opens a stream of opportunities for innovative security platforms with advanced Identity access management (extending to devices and not just humans), higher computation & cognitive capabilities and contextual visibility.
Emerging Areas for Boosted Security Solutions
While adoption of AI/Machine Learning across industries is proving highly beneficial, the dark side of these sophisticated technologies can be put to use by cybercriminals. New age automated attacks powered by AI/Machine Learning are capable of operating at greater speed and larger scale. They can impersonate AI assistants and glean sensitive information for malicious purposes.
This compels start-ups to think out of the box and build next-generation cybersecurity platforms by leveraging emerging technologies.
The democratization of AI/ML
Start-ups are looking to develop their competence in using AI/ML to help threat detection, analysis of vulnerabilities and machine-enabled remediation for faster responses. New age security platforms trying to predict and prevent cyberattacks before they happen will be crucial. With the use of Machine Learning, advanced natural language processing techniques and contextual data points, such platforms will help enterprises with predictive intelligence thereby mitigating security threats.
Growing usage of advanced analytics
The growing adoption of user and entity behavior analytics technology enables companies to identify vulnerabilities within the network quickly and understand weak points better to respond promptly.
The emerging blockchain technology is also becoming one of the key drivers in revolutionizing cybersecurity. Due to its inherent nature of decentralized storage and a high degree of accountability, start-ups are already leveraging the blockchain in areas like authentication, messenger services, and data security.
The Silver Lining – Opportunity in Adversity
Tech giants are growing their security businesses. The start-up space is burgeoning worldwide and there is a surge in companies and software built to mitigate the new evolutions of security threats. But for cybersecurity start-ups to win the battle and eventually the war, they will need to be truly enterprise-ready and constantly evolve to deliver on the smart hacking concerns plaguing the technology landscape.
At Endiya, we continue to partner with disruptive cybersecurity start-ups that have the vision, focus, and wherewithal to constantly innovate in this dynamic world of cyber-threats.