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Cybersecurity and Privacy 2016 Snapshot


December 14, 2016

We predicted increased cybersecurity spending for 2016. We saw more sophisticated hacking tools, increased threat footprint through social media, smartphones, Internet of Things, and BitTorrent. We predicted that ransomware and cyberespionage would become more prevelant.

Little did we know!

Hospitals ransomed, elections allegedly highjacked, celebrity nude photos public, shared economy providers tracking you always, new government cybersecurity powers….

It wasn’t a good year for cybersecurity or privacy.

Prediction Accuracy

Unfortunately, we were about 84% accurate on the 6 predictions made:

  1. Cybersecurity budgets increase and tools to thwart hackers become more sophisticated. Big data and machine learning augment cybersecurity and information security. Result: Yes on budgets, hacking tools, somewhat on machine learning – some bright spots = 78%
  2. Despite new techniques and increased spending, hacking becomes more visible. It’s the year of ransomware. Tools become more sophisticated requiring less sophistication by hackers. And, the cybersecurity threat footprint increases to cloud, IoT, smart phones. Result: Sadly, yes = 100%
  3. Cybersecurity is all about people: the insider threat continues in 2016 while there remains a lack of information security talent. Result: Sadly, yes = 100%
  4. Organizations that leverage good cybersecurity achieves competitive advantage. It’s all about trust and privacy. Buyers expect businesses to prevent the release of private data and they expect good privacy policies in the era of big data. Result: Mixed because it’s not so much about competitive advantage through cybersecurity as competitive disadvantage = 50%
  5. Cyber-espionage accelerates in 2016. Nation states and private companies increase activities. There will be a fine line between cyberespionage and cybercrime. National governments attempt to reduce vulnerabilities. Result: what a year in cyberespionage and alleged cyberespionage = 100%
  6. There is no resolution in the privacy/anonymity/encryption vs. surveillance/personalization debate. Ad blocking increases while governments attempt to get encryption back doors. Results: Yes on the debate and government back doors and partly on ad blocking = 78%
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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