Here’s what I think we’re in for next year when it comes to APTs and the overall threat landscape.
1. The demand for cybersecurity and IR skills will reach new highs.
As advanced threats have become more commonplace, the demands on existing incident response (IR) teams have begun to outstrip capacity, especially in enterprises and government entities where cybersecurity skills are already in short supply. A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute held that only 26 percent of security professionals felt they had the security expertise needed to keep up with advanced threats. Computer science programs will continue to adapt to this trend with more focused training in cybersecurity disciplines.
2. Advanced attackers will move to mobile devices.
A wave of crimeware and fraud has already begun to target mobile devices, which are ripe targets for new malware and a logical place for new threat vectors. Mobile platforms will be uniquely leveraged by APTs thanks to the ability to use GPS location to pinpoint individual targets and the ability to use cellular connectivity to keep command and control away from enterprise security measures.
3. Financially motivated malware makes a comeback, and the lines between APTs and organized crime will blur.
The focus of enterprise security will again be on the attacks where money changes hands. Banking and fraud botnets will continue to be some of the most common types of malware and will continue to have a major impact in real-world dollars.
Meanwhile, attribution of APTs is becoming ever more a focus in the industry, which means that more hacker groups will spend more time attempting to cover their tracks and hide any unique identifiers. To do so, they will attempt to imitate, contract with, or even infiltrate criminally focused hacking organizations to provide cover for their operations.