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Predicting Internet Security Threats in 2020

With each new cybersecurity report and study, it appears that every variety of cybercrime is increasing at an unstoppable rate – from a surge in banking trojans to an increase in the production of malware. Yet, despite these grim statistics, one report claims that the overall internet security risk is expected to be reduced in the next 10 years. According to Verizon’s top internet security expert, Peter Tippett, the cyberthreat landscape will change how businesses and consumers operate, leading to more effective security protection as organizations work together to combat cybercrime.

In Verizon’s recently released cybersecurity risk assessment, Tippett claims:

“While we can never fully forecast the future, we certainly have a good glimpse into what security will be like 10 years from now, based on all the data we have amassed over the last several years for our Data Breach Investigations Reports. For starters, we know successful security breaches are leveling off, and that means we are headed in the right direction as organizations band together to fight cybercrime. By 2020, we expect life to be notably better for cyber users.”

Tippett goes on to list 10 cybersecurity predictions for the next decade. These include the continued evolution of the cyberthreat landscape, a decrease in email spam and other computer scams that are common today, greater prosecution of cybercriminals, and an online environment in which mobile devices dominate user interactions. To check out the entire report, click here.

However, not everyone agrees with Tippett’s claims. Joe Menn, author of the new book, “Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet,” has a different stance on cybersecurity. Menn, whose latest work was featured in a recent L.A. Times article, argues that the situation right now is dire: Cybercriminals have stolen so much sensitive data that there’s a strong likelihood that as much as half of all internet users have been victimized. Consequently, the current cyberthreat landscape is no longer a simple crime fighting problem, but one that requires foreign policy change. Countries throughout the world must band together to combat widespread cybercrime organizations. In addition, Menn goes as far as to argue that there are certain governments (i.e. China) that are not only turning a blind eye to hackers, but even supporting their actions.

Only time will tell what the next 10 years will bring. Despite their differences, both Tippett’s and Menn’s stances on internet security rely upon a key underlying factor: Without a unified global stance on cybercrime, the future of cybersecurity looks bleak.

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