Security predictions for 2016 – AdaptiveMobile

29 Dec 2015

Another year, another bunch of targets for cyberattackers. Be it personal finance, corporate business or mass surveillance we’re all destined to be victims, it seems.

AdaptiveMobile has listed its predictions for cyber threats in 2016, starting with global phone networks, right through to brand protection and, of course, the internet of things.

SS7 – global telecoms standard

In 2016, the global mobile operator community will galvanise efforts to implement network protection to recognise and terminate malicious transmissions emerging across an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape.

Recent research has detected suspicious activity in every region around the globe. Intrinsic defence/security measures of the SS7 network have been overcome and operators are moving to prevent unauthorised actors with access from sending potentially malicious packets.

Protection platforms provide the ability to monitor traffic and detect threats remotely, allowing operators to block suspicious transmissions before they reach the subscriber.

State-sponsored activities prevent concrete determination of the origins of attacks and the subsequent cessation of activity and prosecution, making impartial global monitoring with active-transmission blocking the most promising method of protecting subscribers from illegal surveillance operations.

Surveillance AdaptiveMobile

In the last few years, people have begun to value their privacy more and more, and companies operating in the mobile area have responded to this.

Witness the moves to encrypt storage of personal information on mobile operating systems, new mobile devices that offer a more secure experience, and existing messaging apps that have moved to offer additional security like end-to-end encryption.

As mobile technology approaches the fifth generation and 2G communications infrastructure is replaced, direct threats to the subscriber from rogue nodes and signalling towers will decrease, but new vulnerabilities through diameter will emerge, eliciting an industry shift to implement network protection.

Grey routes

In 2016, mobile operators will take action to reclaim more uncaptured revenue from grey route messaging traffic than ever before, totalling over $4bn per year.

According to Transparency Market Research, the A2P SMS market will be worth $70.32bn by 2020. We also predict financial growth in this market, which will act as a call to action to operators to deploy comprehensive revenue assurance technologies, such as grey route protection, in order to neutralise this financial drain.

Grey Routes

The adoption of grey route protection solutions will increase, in parallel with an increase in reclaimed revenue streams.

Organisations making use of unauthorised messaging routes will realise the risks in doing so, such as the fact that they do not know what route messages with sensitive data – like banking information and medical appoints – are taking. In some cases being sent halfway around the world and back – making them vulnerable to potential breaches of privacy and data protection laws.

Brand security

In 2016 brands will invest heavily in mobile security in order to protect their image, reassuring subscribers regarding security around personal data and providing a streamlined customer experience free from spam and junk communications.

2015 has seen more vulnerabilities for Apple than ever before, particularly regarding the iOS mobile platform, considerably reducing trust in Apple’s ability to prevent attacks.

OTT messaging services have experienced customer frustration at the hands of excessive spamming from external parties. Security threats outside of devices are just as capable at damaging brand perception as customers demand greater protective measures.

As user experience becomes the number one attribute in successful consumer products and services, retailers and providers will see investments in effective security protocols make significant return on investment in both the long and short term.

Internet of things (IoT)

In 2016 we’ll see privacy concerns become of top importance as competing ideologies bring discussions to a head.

Given the emerging differences in approaching privacy regulations between the US and the EU, it is evident that this will bring privacy to the forefront of discussions.

IoT is perhaps the most talked about term in the mobile industry today, as the possibilities are hugely exciting for all of us, and the opportunities for industry and economy seemingly limitless.

Gartner reports that, by 2020, IoT will involve more than 30bn connected devices with an economic value add of $1.9trn. However, this growth is coming with inconsistent and, in some cases, lax security standards. Security is widely recognised as a significant concern and challenge, from privacy issues to hacked Jeeps and rogue refrigerators.

In such a complex ecosystem the industry will begin to push for standard security protocols, as well as defined owners of security updates.

Web camera

Endpoint devices, which are often left unsecured and which typically store valuable data. There are examples of breaches, including web cameras and home routers being accessed by hackers for fun or profit, with the hackers easily bypassing the device security.

With this in mind, endpoint devices will become more and more security centric with hardware encryption becoming a common feature.

Main 2016 image, snooping, clouds and camera images all via Shutterstock