Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting techies specialising in cybersecurity can anticipate an exceptionally busy year in 2017, with cyberattacks and unforeseen security holes proliferating on an unprecedented scale.

This is according to ITProPortal journalist and tech expert Jonathan Couch, who makes a profound observation at the start of his forecasts for 2017:

“Humans are both the problem and the solution, the potential weak point and the potential crisis-averter. For example, humans will keep making security decisions, but also orchestrate attacks; humans will overlook critical signs and warnings, but also have the ability to rectify oversights and mistakes. Human beings will be in the loop throughout the process – even as technology advances significantly in 2017.”

IT contractors speculating about what security issues will encompass in the coming year may be interested in Couch’s predictions. Here they are:

2017 will see the biggest investment in cybersecurity 

Cyberattacks grew in scale, audacity and number during 2016, ranging from the massive Mirai botnet attack on Internet performance management company Dyn (widely regarded as the largest of its kind ever) to the colossal 620-Gbps DDoS attack on security website Krebs on Security. Couch believes that this trend will continue apace in 2017, with the result being that companies from a large range of sectors will gear up to expand their investment in cybersecurity. Defences will need to become ever more sophisticated and watertight to keep pace with escalating attacks.

Cyberattacks will spread further thanks to IoT 

IoT presents both enormous progress and a danger: the Mirai botnet attack on Dyn mentioned above was so devastating because it consisted of vast numbers of compromised IoT devices such as DVR players and webcams. Couch predicts an intense focus on limiting the threat from IoT devices next year.

BYOD and the rise of remote workforces will drive new technologies to combat security dangers 

Cybercriminals have been busily targeting all types of mobile gadgets thanks to the boom in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). CIOs are more aware than ever of the need for new technologies capable of keeping information on their networks safe (as well as their reputations) even as BYOD proliferates.

Passwords will cede more ground to biometrics 

Passwords are increasingly seen as vulnerable as cyberattacks grow more sophisticated. Expect new biometric technologies to expand in 2017, from eye scans to open mobile bank accounts to novel forms of authentication such as behavioural biometrics, which uses intelligent algorithms to construct unique user profiles based on their interactions with their devices.

Resilience will become crucial 

Networks will be fashioned as never before, with agile integral security capabilities able to recover automatically from all of the attacks noted above.

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