Modern cybersecurity is a field that, as ever, continues to evolve rapidly in a bid to keep ahead of hackers and malware which seek to exploit loopholes and workarounds being created by the arrival of sophisticated AI and the introduction of decentralized systems.
We live in a world today where ransomware attacks – and even interference from hostile governments – are an increasingly real challenge that must be dealt with. Fortunately, the latest slew of cybersecurity tools is the most robust, comprehensive, and reliable ever.
Let’s take a look at the trends that have got security-conscious corporations and individuals excited for the prospect of ensuring reliable data protection, in and into the 2020s.
Zero Trust Protocols
In any cybersecurity system, the greatest point of failure is human agency. This is only natural, as people are fallible and, by nature, creatures of habit. As such, it’s possible that even the most observant employee could lead to a critical data breach through cutting corners.
The best solution to counter this is to adopt zero-trust protocols. Unlike on your personal computer where frequently used platforms and services will save – or partially retain – your login information to facilitate ease of access, zero trust architecture requires full authentication with each step.
This removes the human error element by removing the possibility for a person to get lax on their security logins.
While security technology is growing increasingly advanced, it’s worth noting that sometimes the highest security standards come by way of the decidedly low-tech approach of direct human verification.
One of the most common forms of this is through compliance with regulatory bodies – that is, organizations whose purpose is to certify the validity of an operating business.
In the world of iGaming for example, compliance with regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority ensures the safety and security of an online casino. This is because, in complying with their strictures, online platforms attest that they maintain the highest standards of data protection and financial security for their patrons.
In addition to this, broader-spectrum regulatory compliance has continued to roll out across modern systems. For example, SSL certification is an example of a modern web standard that quickly enables both individuals – and browsing software itself – to quickly ascertain whether a website or server is safe to access.
This is because those that have achieved SSL certification, as demonstrated by their URLs beginning with “https://” – rather than just “http://” – are known to have been verified by independent third-party adjudicators.
Machine Learning and AI
While AI and machine learning protocols represent the greatest new threat to modern security, they’re also our very best new defense. Security-focused AI models will be able to identify, and react to threats with greater speed and accuracy than human operators or previous-generation security software can on its own.
With the most challenging security attacks coming by way of algorithms that continually evolve to override defenses, AI holds out the promise of finally getting ahead of even the most sophisticated security threats.
Classical encryption is considered extremely robust because it would take traditional computers a theoretically infinitesimal amount of time to crack the defensive mathematical algorithms that shield our end-to-end data. However, with the arrival of quantum computing, these old certainties are now coming increasingly into question.
This is because quantum computers do not abide by the computational limitations of conventional architecture, and thus could theoretically solve even the most advanced algorithms virtually instantaneously.
To counter this threat, modern security firms are rolling out a new form of encryption that utilizes the phenomenal problem-solving power of quantum computing to create far more sophisticated defenses fit to frustrate even the most powerful next-generation processors.
There are numerous distinct factors to consider when building security systems fit for the 21st century. One of the chief concerns is figuring out how best to manage the risk of human error, with the role of smartphones increasingly playing a prominent role.
After all, nowadays our smartphones are increasingly becoming singular points of failure. With private information, financial details, and personal files all stored on these devices, ensuring security standards are met on them is a priority.
In recent years, biometric authentication has been at the vanguard of robust smartphone security. Typically, biometric authentication can be divided between two commonplace modalities.
The first of these is fingerprint scanners. These are infrared or radio-wave sensors stored in your phone that can be used to check a fingerprint scan against an internally validated database. Fingerprint scanning technology has developed markedly in recent years, removing the risk of false verification.
What’s more, robust auxiliary measures – such as asking the user to input a PIN code should biometric verification prove inconclusive – have further contributed to their reliability. The other popular form of biometric authentication is face-scanning.
Earlier implementations of this technology used basic facial recognition software to read a 2D image – captured by the phone’s camera – to verify access.
However, these were capable of being fooled by simply minor workarounds, such as holding up a picture of the verified user or even wearing glasses. Fortunately, a new generation of facial recognition software has been pioneered by Apple.
Their FaceID technology, which comes as standard in all modern iPhones, instead uses a 3D dot-matrix scanner to build a digital model of a user’s face. This is much more reliable and offers the highest degree of consumer-friendly biometric authentication out there today.
Decentralized Security Layers
Another common trend we’ve come to witness is the rise of decentralized security measures, which is an emergent outcome of the complexity of modern web-connected systems.
As emerging trends in cybersecurity shape the digital landscape, it’s crucial to acknowledge the growing significance of online security in the realm of education, linking with the ideas explored in the related article.
With people nowadays tending to access secure platforms from a growing number of locations and devices – from airport WiFi to their smartwatches – the need to ensure frequent security gates at every layer of a system has only grown in importance.
What’s more, requiring multiple verification steps, such as in two-factor authentication, can help remove some of the uncertainty to comes with relying on single access points from untrusted devices.