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5 IT Security Trends to Watch in 2018 and Beyond

Thanks to constant and rapid advances in technology, every IT pro should update their skills on a regular basis. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the field of IT security, where new avenues of exploit are constantly evolving.

The current legal climate isn’t exactly in our favor. In wild west fashion, companies are expected to fortify their defenses while cybercriminals proceed with little fear of prosecution. To throw a bit of role reversal on the fire, many regions impose penalties if a company is a victim of data theft and found to be negligent in protecting customer data.

No need to hide under the bed just yet, though. New threats typically don’t arrive out of the blue, but rather are built upon previous successful incursions. It’s possible to stay on top of the situation by studying recent threats. In this continuous game of cat-and-mouse, hackers have become adept at identifying weak areas that are not actively monitored. And be sure that 2018 will certainly see the exploitation of these weaknesses. Here are five trends and areas to keep an eye on!

 

1. BYOD Vulnerabilities

Gone are the days of the employer-issued laptop serving as the front line for security. Today, everyone expects to be able to use their personal devices for business communication. Protecting the exchange of data outside of the office is a major challenge for IT departments.

Android devices, in particular, will see a rise in vulnerabilities throughout 2018. Hackers have found proven methods to push exploits through the Google Play Store’s security screening. But by training as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), you can prepare yourself to establish IT policies that affect personal device use from a security and compliance perspective.

You can also build your mobile device management (MDM) skills by training for Microsoft’s Windows 10 Configuring Windows Devices 70-697 exam. With this training, you’ll learn how to use Microsoft Intune to manage personal devices.

 

2. Internet of Things

Five years ago, if a security pro mentioned that a digital picture frame was a security threat, they may have been referred to a counselor to have their tinfoil hat examined! But as more devices become internet-enabled, the potential for eavesdropping is becoming a real concern. Employees in sensitive positions must disclose their IoT devices so that proper safeguards can be placed.

Although important, it’s not enough to ensure that embedded systems have the latest security patches. Advanced firewall rules are needed to monitor and prevent unauthorized communication from devices. Consider CompTIA Security+ training to get up to speed on implementing the necessary firewall features and traffic analysis tools.

 

3. Cloud Security

For cybercriminals, the cloud is the great untapped frontier. The very nature of cloud computing opens itself to a new generation of exploits. As a security pro, defending your company’s space within the cloud will likely become an important part of your job description, whether you want it to or not!

In-depth study of Azure or AWS administration can help you design cloud services that are both secure and robust. The Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions training course explicitly covers security and monitoring. Meanwhile, our AWS: Technical Essentials course covers the same areas, but from an Amazon perspective — including security groups, ACLs, and Identity and Access Management.

After completing your training, the next step is to acquire your credential as a Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), demonstrating that you are dedicated and up to the task when it comes to creating secure cloud services.

 

4. Ransomware

Ransomware has been a hot topic of late, with several successful exploits costing companies millions. We’re guaranteed to see more creative use of ransomware in 2018. More advanced email filtering will be required, as well as effective end-user training to help employees identify suspicious emails without opening their payload.

Experience has proven that the best defense against hackers is to become one yourself. An EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker training course will bring you up to speed on avenues of entry for hackers and how they disguise their work to appear as legitimate traffic. This can give you the upper hand in detecting and preventing a potentially expensive disaster.

 

5. VIP Spoofware

Another up-and-coming method of swindling company dollars, VIP Spoofware will see plenty of publicity in 2018. Hackers have learned how to disguise fake emails to pass legitimacy tests and make them appear to be from an important source within the company. The company vice president might not actually need a million dollars transferred to the Cayman Islands! Again, employee training plays a big role in thwarting these attempts, although properly securing mail relays can stop VIP Spoofware before it gets to the corporate network.

While it may seem impossible to stay ahead of the security curve, new training, certifications, and utilities are emerging to help. With the right training and tools, IT pros can manage the challenge of data security, keeping their servers online and company data out of criminal hands.

 

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