IoT and Cloud will be significant trends going into 2016 but new malicious tactics and strategies will create unique challenges for vendors and organisations alike, according to network security company, Fortinet.
In its FortiGuard Labs annual predictions, its researchers also predicted the emergence of increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques that will push the boundaries of detection and forensic investigation as hackers face increasing pressure from law enforcement.
Fortinet network and security strategist, Jack Chan, said with the FortiGuard Labs 2016 predictions, it’s evident that the security landscape is changing to accommodate for more sophisticated threats and that a tighter integration is required for security solutions.
“The wider adoption of the Cloud blurs the traditional perimeter which means that security vendors need to be flexible and agile in their offerings,” he said.
“While IoT brings immeasurable benefits to our daily lives, it also raises people’s awareness around security. Both consumers and business need to work with security vendors/partners they can trust to provide adequate security and make technology worry free.”
The top cybersecurity trends for 2016 include:
- Increased M2M attacks and propagation between devices: In 2016, the company expects to see further development of exploits and malware that target trusted communication protocols between devices. IoT will become central to ‘land and expand’ attacks in which hackers will take advantage of vulnerabilities in connected consumer devices to get a foothold within the corporate networks and hardware to which they connect.
- Worms and viruses designed to specifically attack IoT devices: The potential for harm when they propagate among millions increases. It added that it is possible to infect headless devices with small amounts of code that can propagate and persist.
- Attacks on Cloud and virtualised infrastructure: The Venom vulnerability that surfaced this year gave a hint about the potential for malware to escape from a hypervisor and access the host operating system in a virtualised environment. Growing reliance on virtualisation and both private and hybrid Clouds will make these kinds of attacks even more fruitful for cybercriminals. At the same time, because so many apps access Cloud-based systems, mobile devices running compromised apps can potentially provide a vector for remotely attacking public and private Clouds and corporate networks to which they are connected.
- New techniques that thwart forensic investigations and hide evidence of attacks: It can be very difficult for organisations to track the extent of data loss associated with an attack as “ghostware” is designed to erase the indicators of compromise that many security systems are designed to detect.
- Malware that can evade even advanced sandboxing technologies: Many organisations have turned to sandboxing to detect hidden or unknown malware by observing the behavior of suspicious files at runtime. Two-faced malware, though, behaves normally while under inspection and then delivers a malicious payload once it has been passed by the sandbox. This can prove quite challenging to detect but can also interfere with threat intelligence mechanisms that rely on sandbox rating systems.
“As we look ahead at the threats associated with our increasing connectedness and the proliferation of new devices, Fortinet is committed to delivering uncompromising security and further enhancing our solutions to meet both the current and future needs of our customers,” Fortinet founder and CEO, Ken Xie, said.