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December 5th, 2016

Three Predictive Insights for 2017

2016 was a year that will inevitably represent a watershed moment in cybersecurity. Unlike previous years where hackers did just enough to breach defenses, the waning months of 2016 bought forth a new, IoT-infused DDoS terror the likes of which we’ve never seen, but have been prophesying for years.

While we continue to examine the events of 2016, we’re also maintaining a forward vision of what’s coming in 2017.

Here’s a sample of some cybersecurity trends to expect next year:

  1. Mirai was just the beginning

As now-published code that has morphed already from its initial incarnation, new strains and code variants will only increase attack size, complexity, and ferocity in 2017. Mirai type of attacks, those that reconnoiter and test credentials as part of an effort to compromise and enroll devices in botnet arsenals, will significantly shape DDoS attack strategies and experiences. As defenses continue to adapt and mitigate Mirai-based attacks, there will be a substantial ebb and flow in online combat as attackers and defenders work to one-up each other.

2. Conventional DDoS attacks continue to pose a significant threat

Multi-vector attacks are more prevalent as attackers demonstrate a trend of using botnets and techniques to better test and exercise their arsenals. From January 1 through November of 2016, 48% of the identified attacks that Neustar mitigated used multiple vectors. As the world focuses on Mirai, the quiet, targeted attacks will remain constant, steady, and dangerous.

3. New threats will be realized in 2017

The advent of IoT technology ubiquity and its exploitation is just one area in which attackers became more emboldened in 2016 as their actions resulted in highly publicized outages. The effectiveness of ransomware, phishing, and malware all reveal many inroads to create lucrative chaos in organizations. Next year will produce unlimited opportunity and potential for bad actors to achieve objectives that include theft, disruption, extortion, and impact.

If the past is prologue, then 2017 will offer another opportunity for bad actors to devise new and creative ways to launch dangerous DDoS attacks. Come what may, we can count on the cybersecurity game of cat and mouse to continue into the foreseeable future.  

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