Fortinet.com of firewall appliances reveals in its 2021 forecast that cyber-attacks will take more advantage of the introduction and flaws of Edge Computing, 5G, etc., to become more sophisticated.
Its FortiGuard Labs team reveals that attackers who take advantage of the Intelligent Edge, 5G devices, and IT innovations will be able to quickly and effectively create a new wave of sophisticated threats. They should also invest more in targeting and hacking emerging edge environments, from teleworkers to OT environments and corporate networks.
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The Intelligent Edge: An Opportunity for Companies, The Target for Attackers
In recent years, the traditional network perimeter has been replaced by multiple edge environments, WAN, multi-cloud, data centers, remote workers, connected objects, etc. Each of these environments presents its unique risks.
Cybercriminals find a clear advantage in this context: indeed, if all these edges are interconnected, many companies have sacrificed centralized visibility and unified control on the altar of performance and digital transformation. As a result, the attackers are reorienting their abuses on these environments to make their attacks more stealthy and capitalize on the speed and scalability that 5G will offer them.
Threats are getting more Sophisticated
Trojans are evolving to target the edge, as is swarming: the compromise of new 5G devices makes threats more sophisticated. Cybercriminals have improved their abilities to design and deploy swarming attacks. These attacks take advantage of hacked devices that are grouped into subgroups, each with its specialized skills.
Also, FortiGuard Labs points out that cyber-attacks will target users’ devices and residential systems, which will serve as gateways to carry out attacks with more significant impact. By taking advantage of contextual information about users (habits, financial information, etc.), social engineering attacks are more likely to bear fruit.
The more brilliant attacks are also more impactful and do not just shut down security systems, disable cameras, or hack devices. They can go as far as hijacking additional data or connection identifiers.
Finally, Fortinet believes that taking OT edges hostage could become a reality as the ransomware continues to evolve. With the convergence between IT and OT systems (operational technologies in an industrial environment), the risk is more significant for data and services. In the future, human lives could be at risk, as the devices, sensors, and critical field infrastructures present on edge OT will be more targeted by cybercriminals.
AI Spearheading the Fight against Future Attacks
As these attack trends gradually materialize, the resources to perpetuate these abuses will eventually become available as a service within the Darknet or as part of open-source kits. To prepare for this, deploying cybersecurity is built around four pillars: technologies, employees, training, and solid partnerships.
The evolution of artificial intelligence is becoming essential to control future attacks. A new generation of AI technologies is needed, technologies that take advantage of local learning nodes optimized by machine learning as part of an integrated ecosystem whose functioning is reminiscent of the human nervous system. AI technologies capable of seeing, anticipating, and countering attacks will become essential in the face of lightning-fast cyberattacks.
Partnerships will be Essential
Few companies will be able to defend themselves completely independently against their adversaries. They need to know who to inform in the event of an attack, share the profile and characteristics of the attack, and allow law enforcement to investigate. Cybersecurity solution providers, threat research organizations, and other professional bodies must work together to help dismantle attacker infrastructure and prevent future attacks.
Cybercriminals know no borders online, and the fight against cybercrime must also cross borders. Only strong partnerships will turn the tide of current threats and counter cybercriminals.