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2017 Cyber Security Threats, Predictions, Funding & Trends

Written by: Bradley Boughton
Date: 22 February 2017

Hacking is on the rise, with research by PwC revealing that cyber security incidents increased by 38% in 2016 compared to the previous year.[1] Given this increase, what does 2017 have in store for the security sector? This overview presents the current challenges and trends, and looks ahead at some of the predictions for the next 12 months.


1. Ransomware is evolving

Large-scale ransomware attacks are starting to be eclipsed by smaller-scale, but more high-profile corporate attacks. An IBM survey of 1,000 business professionals found that 60% would be willing to pay a ransom to get the company’s data back safely, meaning that this new tactic is likely to be more effective for scammers.[2]

2. Internet of Things (IoT) open season

It’s estimated that 70% of IoT devices lack even basic security safeguards.[3] The October 2016 DDoS attack on Dyn, which brought down high-profile websites such as Twitter and Netflix, was only made possible by the huge number of unsecured IoT devices. These were infected with malware and used to coordinate the attack.[4]

3. Mobile security threats

Around 4% of the world’s 2 billion smartphones[5] are believed to be infected with malware, with around half at risk of revealing sensitive business data.[6] Infosec expert, Will Strafach, revealed that an analysis of popular Apple App Store apps uncovered 76 were vulnerable to attack, including a banking app and a remote car-locking app.[7]


Legislation will help cybersecurity grow

With the Compliance & Data Protection Convergence becoming a legal requirement in 2018, cybersecurity will no doubt be top of the agenda this year, as companies look to bring their policies in-line with evolving legislation and protect themselves from emerging threats.[8] This will likely shape the cybersecurity hiring landscape as we move forward in 2017, with businesses making their cybersecurity a key priority.

Cloud generation dynamics will define the future

As cloud generation dynamics become more commonplace, ransomware will increasingly target the cloud, which could be a huge risk for businesses storing their data remotely. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning will likely play a part here as well, with Big Data potential soon to be tapped, resulting in an increase in the demand for talent with experience in these areas.  

IoT issues on the rise

As IoT technology becomes more integrated in enterprise as well as in homes, it’s likely that cyber attacks in this area will soar. Whether this is in the form of ransomware attacking items in the home, or increased DDoS attacks, only time will tell.


According to TechCrunch, in 2016 there was a 23% increase in funding for cybersecurity companies – a rise of $129 million year-on-year. Areas such as network security, APT, incident response and SCADA Security (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) were the most funded sectors in 2016, and this is likely to continue for the start of 2017.[9]

The start of 2017 saw a flurry of investments including SentinelOne, which raised $70 million in funding.[10] Cloud access security broker tool, Bitglass, also  secured $45 million in Series A funding in January. Phantom, a security automation and orchestration platform, secured $13.5 million in Series B funding at the start of the year. [11] Other cyber-security firms that have raised capital so far this year include: Exabeam, Protectwise and Javelin Networks.[12]

Along with a rise in funding, an increase in acquisitions has also been seen. HPE recently acquired behavioral analytics tool, Niara, in order to integrate it into the Aruba ClearPass security portfolio. The finished product will be one of the most conclusive pieces of attack detection software on the market.[13] Endpoint security specialist Sophos has acquired machine-learning antivirus solution Invincea for $100 million. Invincea uses deep learning and behavioral monitoring to identify malware, and this addition will strengthen Sophos’ malware protection portfolio.[14]

Future trends

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IOT) is on the rise and experts at Gartner estimate that IoT software and solutions will save consumers and businesses $1 trillion in maintenance, services and consumables in three years time.

Next Gen Security

With big players such as Apple, Intel and Cisco – as well as Gartner visionaries Cylance, SentinelOne and Cloudstrike – all poised to implement break-through Next Gen Security technologies, the age of the complicated password is soon to be over. It will be replaced by biometrics (such as fingerprint, voice and iris recognition) and behavioral analytics (usage location, on-app behavior, transaction patterns).

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI and cognitive technologies are likely to start displacing jobs in sectors such as transport, logistics, customer services and consumer services. IBM’s Watson is currently the most well-known, with Google’s TensorFlow and Cloud Machine learning combination also making an impact. Up-and-coming security startups such as JASK and SparkCognition, are also likely to have an increasing impact.

As one of the leading suppliers of niche skills to the cyber security and emerging technologies sector, Glocomms has an in-depth understanding of this evolving market. If you are interested in learning more about the sector, and how technological advancements will impact recruitment, get in touch with the team at Glocomms today.



Additional Sources$70-million-in-latest-funding-round/d/d-id/1327981