Cyberbreach Will Destroy Large Company in 2017 — Study

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When Barack Obama took the oath of office to become President of the United States in January of 2009, the country’s economy had officially been in recession for more than year. The so-called Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009, but the effects lingered for much longer.

If forecasters at Forrester Research are correct, the next U.S. president to take office in January of 2017 can expect a “major cybercrisis” as companies “grapple with how to defend against escalating, dynamic security and privacy risk.”

Forrester predicts that targeted espionage, ransomware, denial of service, privacy breaches and more will escalate next year and that the effects of that escalation will be “significant.”

Here are five specific predictions for 2017 from the Forrester researchers:

  • A Fortune 1000 company will fail because of a cyberbreach.
  • Healthcare breaches will become as common as retail breaches.
  • More than 500,000 internet-of-things devices will be compromised.
  • Within 100 days, the new US president will face a major cybercrisis.
  • National security risks will drive agencies to expand surveillance technologies, creating legal and ethical conflicts between governments and people.

A couple of these predictions have nearly come true already. The medical/health care sector has suffered a total of 293 data breaches resulting in more than 14 million records being exposed, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC’s) latest report. The business sector has accounted for 2.5 million exposed records in 354 data breaches.

A dedicated denial of service (DDoS) attack directed at the Dyn DNS servers in mid-October is believed to have been caused by about 100,000 endpoints in a single Internet-of-Things botnet that generated an attack rate of 1.2 terabits per second against the DYN servers. The Mirai botnet could even have been larger — much larger according to researchers at Arbor Networks.

Forrester believes that 2017 will bring more complexity to the Internet of Things (IoT). That very complexity will “overwhelm enterprises that don’t get ahead of the problem.” The researchers note:

IoT also represents a two-pronged threat in 2017 — potentially exposing businesses to security breaches and IoT devices themselves being turned into DDoS weapons.

That a Fortune 1000 company will fail next year as a result of cybercrime is not as far-fetched as it might seem, nor is the threat that the next president will face a major cybercrisis. National security experts, for example, have laid the blame from many recent breaches at the doorstep of Russian hackers who may (or may not) be state-sponsored.

And if more state-sponsored attacks against U.S. systems occur, it is almost inevitable that the U.S. national security apparatus will come into conflict with civil liberties advocates over the proper level of surveillance of American citizens.

The Forrester report is available at the company’s website.