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Is 2017 Half Empty or Half Full?

Ransomware seems to be this year’s huge trend

july17With 2017 crossing the half way point, let's look at some technology trends thus far.

Breaches: Many personal records are half empty due to the continued rash of intrusions while the crooks are half full of our personal information, along with some ransom payments. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), there have been 7,689 breaches since 2005 (when they started tracking) compromising – get this – 900,315,392 records. Almost 3 times the U.S. population. In 2016, 56% of all Data Breaches began with a user clicking on a phishing email. The big story for 2017 I think, is the rise of ransomware. Kaspersky reports a 250% increase in ransomware for the first few months of 2017. From WannaCry to Petya to Fusob, criminals are holding systems hostage until a ransom is paid…or not. Ransomware seems to be this year’s big trend with backups saving some from total embarrassment.

Cloud Computing: RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report notes that hybrid cloud Is the preferred enterprise strategy, with 85 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy (up from 82 percent in 2016) and Cloud Users Are Running Applications in Multiple Clouds. An interesting stat from the report says, cloud users are running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds. We got hybrid cars, hybrid corn, hybrid cats, and hybrid clouds, but The Cloud is Still a Datacenter Somewhere so no need to freak out. Cloud seems to be more than half full as the industry better prepares itself to address ongoing security and expertise challenges.

DNS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, DNS is one of the most important components of a functioning internet. With that, it presents unique challenges to organizations. 2016 saw record-breaking DNS-based attacks and outages, which thrust DNS management into the spotlight as both a vulnerability and a critical asset. In 2016 DNS provider Dyn experienced a huge DDoS attack taking out many popular websites and internet cameras. And a new attack uncovered this year, DNSMessenger, uses DNS queries to conduct malicious PowerShell commands on compromised computers – a technique that makes the remote access trojan difficult to detect on targeted systems. The need for DNS continues to be half-full with the influx of IoT devices so it’ll continue to be a valuable target for riff-raff.

IoT: What can I say? The cup runneth over…again. Gartner has identified the Top 10 IoT technologies that should be on every organization's radar for 2017 and 2018. They include things like new security risks and challenges to the IoT devices themselves, their platforms and operating systems, their communications, and even the systems to which they're connected. Analytics to understand customer behavior, to deliver services and improve products. Device management, device processors, operating systems, platforms, standards and even the networks IoT devices use are all areas of attention. IoT is really three-quarters full both with the opportunities and potential risks. And the risks can be deadly when monitoring essential information like human vital signs.

Mobile: We are mobile, our devices are mobile and the applications we access are mobile. Mobility, in all its iterations, is a huge enabler and concern for enterprises and it'll only get worse as we start wearing our connected clothing to the office. 5G is still a couple years away but AT&T and Verizon have already lined up trials of their 5G networks for 2017. Mobile is certainly half full and there is no emptying it now.

That's what I got so far, and I'm sure 2017's second half will bring more amazement, questions and wonders. We'll do our year-end reviews and predictions for 2018 as we all lament, where did the Year of the Rooster go?

There's that old notion that if you see a glass half full, you're an optimist and if you see it half empty you are a pessimist. I think you need to understand what state the glass itself was before the question. Was it empty and filled half way or was it full and poured out? There's your answer!

ps