It’s that time of year again when the security industry takes stock of what has come to pass and what the next 12 months have in store. With several recent security scandals grabbing headlines (poor Sony), there's plenty to review.
Here Charles Sweeney outlines his key technology predictions for 2015.
Health and fitness
In June Flurry reported that in the first six months of the year it saw a 62 per cent increase in the usage of health and fitness apps across its platform.
Such a stat is indicative of the fact that health apps and wearable devices have really taken off during 2014. This is set to continue in 2015 as many wearable devices are plugging their health and fitness credentials as part of their marketing.
However, users beware. An increase in usage of these apps also means more data being stored in the cloud. There is a serious risk that in 2015 rather than naked celebs, we’ll be reading about their heart rates, calories consumed and fitness regimes. But it’s not just the A list that are vulnerable - everyone is. This might not seem like hugely sensitive data, but for many it is exceptionally personal.
More hack attacks
2014 has to be the biggest year on record for the discovery of high profile and incredibly damaging exploits.
Heartbleed, Shellshock and POODLE had serious consequences for enterprises but also led to many vendors changing how they addressed and incorporated SSL into their product offering.
The biggest concern is that these weren’t hacker designed, they lay at the very core of the Internet. In 2015, we can expect more - not less - of these types of exploits to be discovered.
Secure Apps for everyone
In security we talk a lot about enterprises needing to build robust, holistic and responsive security environments. But the truth is - and we are very honest about this - that cyber criminals evolve their methods at such a rapid pace that it simply isn’t possible to be 100 per cent secure, 100 per cent of the time.
2015 will be the year that companies finally realise this as well. So what can be done about it? In an era where businesses rely so heavily on apps to do business, there is a real need to ensure that each and every app is self-aware and self-protecting.
As such, rather than being an add on, security will finally be built directly into applications.
There have been a number of high profile hacks this year. But what stands out is how accepting big brands are of this.
The iCloud, Snapchat and eBay hacks underline just how unconcerned big giants of industry are when due to their failings the data we’ve trusted them with goes walkies. In 2015 people are going to realise that if they want to protect their digital ID, then they are going to have to take matters into their own hands.
As such we will see a rise of consumer-facing services such as meandmyid that provide individuals with a simple way to ensure that when their data is stolen they can minimise the consequences.
Is MSP the key?
A Managed Service Provider approach to security has been muted for the last couple of years and in recent months it has really started to gather pace.
So will 2015 be its year? Whilst traditionally enterprises have sought to keep security strategies, tactics and deployments in house, they have also had to face the fact that quite often they don’t have the right skills internally, or don’t have the IT resources to cope with security and the business critical IT projects.
If they don’t have the right skills, their ability to identify and mitigate risk is compromised, ergo so is their infrastructure and everything sitting on it. Companies aren’t going to hand over the keys to their network, but they might well find themselves making a copy of them.
Charles Sweeney is CEO of content filtering and security company Bloxx.