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Organizations in all sectors worry about cybersecurity threats. In 2021, businesses experienced 50% more cyberattacks each week compared to 2020. Experts and researchers must constantly create new cybersecurity tools, techniques, and practices.

This page looks at the impact of cybersecurity threats and explores the latest trends in cybersecurity technology. We cover cloud encryption, extended detection and response, and context-aware security. We also examine defensive AI, manufacturer usage description, and zero trust.

Impact of Current and Emerging Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity threats impact businesses, government, nonprofit groups, and people. Researchers and information security experts work regularly to create proactive methods and tools to improve cybersecurity.

Ransomware attacks and weaknesses from increased cloud service use are some emerging threats. Potential vulnerabilities of 5G technology and the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), which includes smart home devices, also pose security risks.

Cybersecurity threats can stimulate the development of new cybersecurity technology. Read on for details about some of the most promising new technologies created to fight current cybersecurity threats.

Today's New Cybersecurity Technologies

Below, we describe some of the most popular cybersecurity technologies in the field. We cover how they work and their applications in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity experts use these tools to defend against the cyberthreats described above.

Behavioral Analytics

Behavioral analytics looks at data to understand how people behave on websites, mobile applications, systems, and networks. Cybersecurity professionals can use behavioral analytics platforms to find potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Analyzing patterns of behavior can lead to identifying unusual events and actions that may indicate cybersecurity threats.

For example, behavioral analytics may find that unusually large amounts of data are coming from one device. This may mean a cyberattack is looming or actively happening. Other indicators of malicious activity include odd timing of events and actions that happen in an unusual sequence.

Benefits of using behavioral analytics include early detection of potential attacks and the ability to predict future attacks. Organizations can automate detection and response using behavioral analytics.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a type of database that securely stores data in blocks. It connects the blocks through cryptography. Blockchain allows information to be collected, but not edited or deleted.

Cybersecurity professionals can use blockchain to secure systems or devices, create standard security protocols, and make it almost impossible for hackers to penetrate databases.

Benefits of blockchain include better user privacy, reduction of human error, greater transparency, and cost savings by removing the need for third-party verification.

Blockchain also eliminates the security problem of storing data in one place. Instead, data gets stored across networks, resulting in a decentralized system that is less vulnerable to hackers.

Challenges of using blockchain include the cost and inefficiency of the technology.

Cloud Encryption

Cloud services improve efficiency, help organizations offer improved remote services, and save money. However, storing data remotely in the cloud can increase data vulnerabilities. Cloud encryption technology changes data from understandable information into an unreadable code before it goes into the cloud.

Cybersecurity professionals use a mathematical algorithm to complete cloud encryption. Only authorized users with an encryption key can unlock the code, making data readable again. This restricted access minimizes the chance of data breaches by unauthorized attackers.

Experts agree that cloud encryption is an excellent cybersecurity technology for securing data. Cloud encryption can prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to usable data. Cloud encryption can also foster customer trust in cloud services and make it easier for companies to comply with government regulations.

Context-Aware Security

Context-aware security is a type of cybersecurity technology that helps businesses make better security decisions in real time.

Traditional cybersecurity technologies assess whether or not to allow someone access to a system or data by asking yes/no questions. This simple process can cause some legitimate users to be denied, slowing productivity.

Context-aware security reduces the chance of denying entry to an authorized user. Instead of relying on answers to static yes/no questions, context-aware security uses various supportive information like time, location, and URL reputation to assess whether a user is legitimate or not.

Context-aware security streamlines data-accessing processes and makes it easier for legitimate users to do their work. However, end-user privacy concerns pose a challenge.

Defensive Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Cybersecurity professionals can use defensive artificial intelligence (AI) to detect or stop cyberattacks. Savvy cybercriminals use technologies like offensive AI and adversarial machine learning because they are more difficult for traditional cybersecurity tools to detect.

Offensive AI includes deep fakes, false images, personas, and videos that convincingly depict people or things that never happened or do not exist. Malicious actors can use adversarial machine learning to trick machines into malfunctioning by giving them incorrect data.

Cybersecurity professionals can use defensive AI to detect and stop offensive AI from measuring, testing, and learning how the system or network functions.

Defensive AI can strengthen algorithms, making them more difficult to break. Cybersecurity researchers can conduct harsher vulnerability tests on machine learning models.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

Extended detection and response (XDR) is a type of advanced cybersecurity technology that detects and responds to security threats and incidents. XDR responds across endpoints, the cloud, and networks. It evolved from the simpler traditional endpoint detection and response.

XDR provides a more holistic picture, making connections between data in different places. This technology allows cybersecurity professionals to detect and analyze threats from a higher, automated level. This can help prevent or minimize current and future data breaches across an organization's entire ecosystem of assets.

Cybersecurity professionals can use XDR to respond to and detect targeted attacks, automatically confirm and correlate alerts, and create comprehensive analytics. Benefits of XDR include automation of repetitive tasks, strong automated detection, and reducing the number of incidents that need investigation.

Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD)

Manufacturer usage description (MUD) is a standard created by the Internet Engineering Task Force to strengthen security for IoT devices in small business and home networks.

IoT devices are vulnerable to network-based attacks. These attacks can lead to loss of private data or cause a machine to stop working properly. IoT devices need to be secure without costing too much or being too complicated.

Benefits of using MUD include simply, affordable improved security for IoT devices. Cybersecurity professionals can use MUD to make devices more secure against distributed denial of service attacks. MUD can help reduce the amount of damage and data loss in the event of a successful attack.

Zero Trust

Traditional network security followed the motto "trust but verify," assuming that users within an organization's network perimeter were not malicious threats. Zero Trust, on the other hand, aligns itself with the motto, "never trust, always verify."

A framework for approaching network security, Zero Trust makes all users authenticate themselves before they get access to an organization's data or applications.

Zero Trust does not assume that users inside the network are more trustworthy than anyone else. This stricter scrutiny on all users can result in greater overall information security for the organization.

Cybersecurity professionals can use Zero Trust to deal more safely with remote workers and challenges like ransomware threats. A Zero Trust framework may combine various tools, including multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and endpoint security.

Regulation

As the frequency of cyberattacks continues to grow significantly each year, governments are beginning to use and promote best practice regulations. In the past, the governments did not often get involved in cybersecurity issues.

Security Magazine, an industry publication for cybersecurity professionals, predicts that 2022 will be the year that governments start to play a bigger role in regulating how organizations ensure user information security.

Potential regulatory changes include executive orders regarding cybersecurity standards for government suppliers, penalties for companies that do not engage in best practices, increased demand for cyberinsurance, and ransomware disclosure laws. Greater regulation will likely lead to improved security standards.

Organizations Researching Cybersecurity Technology

The following list of organizations conduct research on cybersecurity technology and trends. Visit these websites to stay informed about the latest developments in the field.

  • Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory: Massachusetts Institute of Technology's CSAIL conducts computing research to improve life and help machines operate more efficiently and effectively. The organization of more than 60 research groups creates new technologies. The group works with an annual budget of more than $65 million.
  • Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute: An interdisciplinary research institute at George Washington's School of Engineering & Applied Science, CSPRI coordinates research, conferences, and campus dialogue on cybersecurity and privacy. The institute works with private organizations and government agencies. Research topics include food chain security, K-12 cyberlearning, and the gender gap in cybersecurity careers.
  • Institute for Information Security & Privacy: Georgia Tech's School of Cybersecurity and Privacy's IISP serves as a starting point for 13 cybersecurity labs, centers, and facilities. Faculty and students work in cybersecurity projects focused on resilient military cyberdefense, embedded systems, and data mining. The institute includes 200,000 square feet of classified research space.
  • National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence: The NCCoE includes government, industry, and academia dedicated to protecting the nation's infrastructure and securing IT systems. Featured projects explore 5G cybersecurity, data classification, and cryptography. Participants can make technical contributions, join a community of interest, and engage academically.
  • Rand Corporation: The Rand Corporation focuses on improving decisionmaking and policy through research and analysis in diverse research areas, including cybersecurity. Cybersecurity research explores topics like preparing for cyberattacks at the local level, extremism online, and detecting U.S. government cyber vulnerabilities. Find reports, brochures, and multimedia research resources on the group's website.

Additional Resources

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Questions About Cybersecurity Technologies

How is cybersecurity research conducted?

Cybersecurity researchers investigate existing malware, forecast potential future malware, and test security systems. Types of cybersecurity research include cryptography, penetration testing, reverse engineering malware, and machine learning optimization.

What are some new technologies in cybersecurity?

Some new cybersecurity technologies include Zero Trust, Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD), and Extended Detection and Response (XDR). Other technologies in cybersecurity include defensive AI and adversarial machine learning, context-aware security, and cloud encryption.

What is the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning technology?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a type of cybersecurity technology that lets machines mimic human behavior. A subtechnology of AI, machine learning allows machines to learn how to act based solely on past information.

What are the biggest cybersecurity threats right now?

The biggest cybersecurity threats right now include ransomware attacks, cloud vulnerabilities, and phishing attacks. Other causes for concern include social engineering, the Internet of Things (IoT), and patch management.

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