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Predictions at the beginning of the year is a favourite activity of experts. There is nobody to do the predictions audit at the end of the year. In reality, it is an extension of incidents of the year gone by and putting as trend for the new year. The better you have studied the incidents of the year, there is likelihood of coming up with precise predictions. Generic in nature, there predictions are more precise for APAC region. Seventy percent of Singapore’s detected attacked had it’s origin in Asia. What is really crazy is that organizations still more than six months to detect the breach.

Seventy three percent security incidents pertain to port scanning to detect vulnerabilities that can breached for gains. Having become confident of the vulnerabilities subsequent malware and phishing attacks which can be launched with high level of success. Compromised nodes are most likely to be used as command & control nodes (18%) and botnets (9%). Botnets, malware, phishing & DDoS attacks round are identified as too security threats for 2019. Any enterprise going in for digital transformation using latest technologies to gain business edge, cyber security would be the concern of 2019.

On the top of the trends for 2019 is the increased cost of compliance. Remarkable among those are the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). As mobiles and cloud are at the core of the hyper connected world, the threat surface increases considerably. Digital transformation of Operation Technology (OT) environments exposes previously air-gapped systems. Service reliability is critical to OT devices, lack encryption & authentication. State & non-actors now attack at critical infrastructure for a debilitating blow to the nation.

The insider threat is a grave concern and so is the outsider / insider combo, like the sleeper cells. Industrial espionage is picking up and threat actors exploit supply chain and insiders to achieve their goal. This helps in orchestrating man-in-the-middle attacks on a widescale. Due to the ever increasing complexity of cyber security threats, it is imperative for the enterprises to increase their situational awareness. The most challenging threat of the year would be AI powered social engineering attacks.


Sanjay Sahay

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