Article posted: May 09, 2017

By Joakim Thoren, CEO

Social engineering is a cybercriminal's best friend. That's according to Juniper Research, which recently published the "Cybercrime and The Internet of Threats 2017" whitepaper. In its report, the Juniper team says that even with evolving methods for attempting unauthorized access of computing systems, the preferred route taken by most hackers is still this: duping users into opening the door. Simply put, cybercrime is often perpetrated through social engineering.

Another trend identified in the report was the rising tide of ransomware, according to the cybersecurity organizations they interviewed. Ransomware incidents grew very quickly in 2015 and 2016 when compared with prior years and ranked as the highest and most costly threat. Other threats rating high on the vulnerability and financial impact scales in the Juniper findings included botnets and operating systems vulnerabilities. Adware, phishing and spyware, while also high on the Juniper vulnerability scale, rated lower in terms of financial impact on organizations.

As we at Versasec know from our own daily immersion into cybersecurity issues, identity and access management tool (IAM) are one of the easiest and most effective means for keeping organizations secure.

Here's what the Juniper team had to say about IAM: "At the forefront of merging compliance and cybersecurity provision, access and identity management tools are becoming increasingly common cybersecurity tools for enterprise. However, it is still not a standard tool for many, particularly SMEs."

At Versasec, we've been pushing hard into the SME market for the very reason cited in this report. The days of cybercriminals focusing on the "big fish" are ending. After some very public hacks (think Target and Home Depot, for example) virtually all large enterprises have really stepped up their cyber protection. That leaves the hackers looking for the next vulnerable sectors, which often includes SMEs.

IAM solutions are generally affordable, easy-to-implement, and can be managed securely if the right partners are selected. The folks at Juniper say the market trends indicate more and more companies are jumping on the cybersecurity bandwagon, estimating the market will grow to almost $135 billion by 2022.

Other trends the report identifies for fighting the cybercriminals include cloud security where increasing levels of encrypted data are making it more difficult to easily identify threats; network and endpoint security such as firewalls and antivirus tools that are a prominent first line of defense but may require a different model or endpoint security provisioning for the IoT; and threat intelligence, where increasing use of artificial intelligence can help improve threat analysis. Each of these categories contains multiple security provisions, but the report notes that "many vendors focus only on a single area of cybersecurity" which can create management problems for end users that can result in missed threats.

All this supports Juniper's findings that spending on security solutions will continue growing at a brisk pace. In fact, the Juniper team says they believe the amount that large businesses spend on cybersecurity will increase at a CAGR of 7.5 percent for the foreseeable future.

Juniper specializes in identifying and appraising new high growth market sectors within the digital ecosystem. The company offers market sizing and forecasting, competitive analysis, strategic assessment and business modelling.

Juniper Research provides access to its forecast free with registration. Click here to download the cybercrime report summary: https://www.juniperresearch.com/document-library/white-papers/cybercrime-the-internet-of-threats-2017

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