Cybersecurity - Thematic Research
Technological progress has led to a higher incidence of cyberattacks. The big technology cycles of today - e-commerce, mobile payments, cloud computing, Big Data, IoT, AI, and social media - all increase cyber risk for users and businesses.
At the same time, the nature of the threats is becoming more diverse. The list includes advanced persistent threats (APTs), distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), viruses, worms, malware, ransomware, spyware, botnets, spam, spoofing, phishing, hacktivism and potential state-sanctioned cyberwarfare.
Cybersecurity is difficult to insure against precisely because the types of cybercrime differ, the motivations for these crimes differ, the assets targeted differ, and the remedies differ. Whereas most types of criminal activity have a single target (e.g. to steal money) and a single motive (e.g. to get rich), cybercrime is different. It has many motives, can come in many forms, and can be committed by a host of different types of attackers (known as threat actors).
Cybersecurity has therefore become a critical business function, yet it remains a non-core competence for a significant number of boards. Chief information security officers (CISOs) have become increasingly common in recent years (recent research suggests that nearly two-thirds of large US companies now have a CISO position), but the majority do not report directly to the CEO, reducing their effectiveness.
Traditionally, most companies have adopted a prevention-based approach to cybersecurity, but recent advances in technology areas like machine learning are enabling a move towards active detection of threats. This allows pre-emptive action to be taken to stop breaches before they occur and also serves to free up resources currently occupied with chasing false positives from existing, more reactive systems. Spending on artificial intelligence (AI)-infused cybersecurity tools will increase significantly over the coming years.
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