5 Lessons Football Can Teach Businesses About Cybersecurity

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The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are going to Super Bowl 51.

Between now and the big game, the strengths and vulnerabilities of the contenders will be a hot topic of conversation for football fans and sports pundits alike.

Meanwhile, the Patriots’ and Falcons’ coaching staffs are putting in the preparation to boost their chances of a win: Anticipating the offensive and defensive strategies of the competition, developing counter strategies, and making every player accountable for helping to execute the game plan.

In many ways, the preparation that goes into developing a winning game plan is similar to creating an effective cybersecurity strategy. Read More

What To Make Of Fortinet’s 2017 Cybersecurity Predictions

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The cyber landscape changed dramatically during the course of 2016 — requiring organizations to kick off the New Year with a fresh perspective on cybersecurity.

So much happened in 2016. Online extortion grew with cases of ransomware  threatening entire sections of the healthcare industry, financial services and even San Francisco’s transportation network. Smart devices were recruited to form botnets, taking down sections of the internet in U.S. and Europe. As the digital footprint of business of all types expand, so will the potential attack surface in 2017.

Here are 6 predictions of what lies ahead from our partner Fortinet, and what that means to you.

  1. Malware will become smarter. We’ve seen malware with “if this, then that” code built in. Expect to see malware a step short of artificial intelligence: While continuing to hide in the networks it infiltrates, it will also make more complex decisions and become more successful the longer it remains in a network. We’ll also see malware start moving across devices and platforms, making it harder to beat than ever.
  2. The Shadownet will rise. This fall, source code for the program Mirai was published and quickly used to pull together IoT devices into botnets that eventually stalled the internet on two continents. The next botnets won’t be as easily detected. These “shadownets” are in their earliest stages. The success of the attack against domain name infrastructure company Dyn in October 2016 is a harbinger of more attacks of this nature to come.
  3. IoT will become the weakest link. The current wisdom is that by 2020, 20 billion IoT and endpoint devices will be online, accessing the cloud to make transactions faster for their owners. These devices produced with almost no security and spread throughout the globe created a giant attack surface for hackers to target. The next logical step is to exploit the trust of IoT device owners to use these devices to access information in the cloud. Hacking these devices gives hackers access as well.
  4. Smart cities will be targeted. Cities are building efficient networks that turn on streetlights, monitor traffic and run emergency systems. These networks are predicted to become high-grade targets for hackers and politically-charged hactivists  who’ll look for opportunities to shut down systems and graduate to ransomware.
  5. Ransom will be just the beginning. Hackers have been targeting healthcare and financial institutions, seeking ransom to unlock seized systems. Now criminals can download entire malware packages in exchange for a percentage of their ill-gotten profits. Expect to see more demands for ransom made upon institutions and high-profile individuals.
  6. Technology will help close the cyber skills shortage gap. The growing demand for cybersecurity experts has made finding in-house expertise next to impossible, even for companies willing to pay high salaries. Some companies will purchase ready-made firewalls or other devices requiring expertise to implement. The smarter enterprises will hire consultants to help create layers of security technology and who can offer networks of advisors.

Worried about what 2017 may bring? Start with a complementary cyber threat assessment. When you’re ready, Xiologix has the expertise and best-in-class technology solutions to help organizations meet their cybersecurity challenges head-on.

Byline: Is it Finally Time for Open Security?

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One of the distinct advantages of working in the IT industry for over 35 years is all of the direct and indirect experience that brings, as well as the hindsight that comes with that. One of the more personally interesting experiences for me has been watching the growth and ultimate success of the Open Source Software (OSS) movement from a fringe effort (what business would ever run on OSS?) to what has now become a significant component behind the overall success of the Internet.

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