With high-profile corporate attacks and tightened legislation, cybersecurity soared higher on boardroom agendas last year, but experts are predicting the threat will continue to grow worse in 2016, as hackers increasingly target specific victims.
High net worth individuals, commercial banks and corporate treasuries will be especially exposed to threat from organised crime groups this year, according to KPMG’s cyber security predictions.
“The recent US indictments of alleged market hackers show just how sophisticated manipulation of markets has become – whether through front running stocks using stolen market sensitive information, or pump and dump schemes using personal data acquired in bulk from unsuspecting banks, insurers and even governments,” said David Ferbrache, technical director at the firm’s cyber security practice.
Cyber crooks are turning to new smarter techniques, staying one step ahead of law enforcement beginning to catch up with their phishing attacks and banking Trojans, as strict EU-wide data protection regulation comes into force. Under the milestone legislation, which was passed last month and will be implemented across member states within the next two years, firms will be forced to disclose attacks, and risk steep sanctions if hacked.
The UK government has made promises of its own to ramp up efforts against the growing threat, with chancellor George Osborne announcing in his Autumn Statement that cybersecurity spend would be doubled over the next five years.
The legal changes are likely to hit smaller firms most, according to Ferbrache, as global companies are already familiar with cyber security initiatives:
Smaller firms are likely to come under increasing pressure in 2016 as their larger cousins embed cyber security requirements into their contracting and procurement processes – fuelling both a supply chain security industry and the growth of third party cyber insurance.