1 January 2016

Cybersecurity: A look back on 2015

Kevin G. Coleman, SilverRhino,December 28, 2015
With 2015 in our rearview mirror, it is time apply what we learned in cybersecurity to the challenges we will face in 2016.

First let’s talk about concerns in 2015:
We saw records repeatedly broken for new releases of malicious software.
We saw some cybersecurity budgets trimmed in 2015 despite the growing threat.
We saw the most concerning breach in history: The Office of Personnel Management's collection of personal information for those with security clearances (past and present).
We saw shocking new forecasts for the Internet of Things market that suggest more than 200 billion devices will connect to the Internet in the next several years, most without firewalls or anti-virus protection.
We saw additional warnings about the shortage of cybersecurity people and increased concerns about the overall shortage of science, technology, engineering and math majors. All those fields are badly needed for military and intelligence services.

Now let’s look at some of the pleasant surprises that we saw in 2015:
We saw surveys that indicate cybersecurity issues will be a major — if not the top concern — for boards of directors.
Some point to the passage of the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.
A few industries saw some decrease in the cost per record breached due to insurance and technology/resource investment.

While the negatives outnumber the positives, we are at least taking steps in some direction. Perhaps the steps could have been bigger, bolder and they could have gone further, but for the most part, they are better than nothing. Let’s hope we all have a better and more peaceful 2016.

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