IT security as we know it is experiencing a revolution. The vast number of legacy systems are replaced by storage and transmission systems that are more complex, mobile, wireless, and even hardware independent. The war between data defenders and data thieves has been described as a cat-and-mouse game. As soon as the white hats counter one form of black-hat malicious behavior, another malevolent form rears its ugly head. How can the playing field be tilted in favor of the InfoSec warriors? The answer lies in these emerging technologies of this year.
The inadequacies of usernames and passwords are well known. Clearly, a more secure form of authentication is needed. One method is to bake authentication into a user's hardware. Intel is moving in that direction with the Authenticate solution in its new, sixth-generation Core vPro processor. It can combine a variety of hardware-enhanced factors at the same time to validate a user's identity. Hardware authentication can be particularly important for the Internet of Things (IoT) where a network wants to ensure that the thing is trying to gain access to it is something that should have access to it.
Once someone's username and password are compromised, whoever has them can waltz onto a network and engage in all kinds of malicious behavior. That behavior can trigger a red flag to system defenders if they're employing user behavior analytics (UBA). The technology uses big data analytics to identify anomalous behavior by a user. Comparing a user's present behavior to past behavior isn't the only way UBA can identify a malicious actor. It compares how someone is behaving compared to people with the same manager or same department. That can be an indicator that the person is doing something they shouldn't be doing or someone else has taken over their account. In addition, UBA can be a valuable tool for training employees in better security practices.
Early Warning Systems
Early warning systems are still in their infancy, but they are being created to decrease hacking in an innovative way. These systems are based on algorithms that attempt to identify sites and servers that will be hacked in the future. This view is not focused exclusively on infrastructure weaknesses; rather, it includes an analysis of common traits shared by systems most frequently hacked. For example, a site that is known to contain a large amount of sensitive financial data would be a more likely hacking target than another site that contains only generic business information. Such systems are not designed to protect all sites, or even sites with specific types of security, which is a departure from classic cybersecurity approaches.
Virtual Dispersive Networking (VDN)
There has been a rise in man-in-the-middle cyber-attacks, through which hackers alter or insert messages into communication flows. Virtual Dispersive Networking – or VDN – mimics a traditional approach used by the military. Radio frequencies are randomly changed, and communications are divided into pieces (or streams). Receiving radios are programmed to reassemble these pieces into their original form. With VDN, either the internet itself or a particular network becomes the communication-assembling platform.
Combinations of intrusion detection and encryption technologies with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)
The biggest issue with cloud-based applications, particularly in regards to BYOD, is that these technologies reside and transmit outside the parameters of traditional firewalls and security systems. In order to address this issue, some companies are using SAML (a data authentication and authorization format) with intrusion detection and encryption software to manage their data flow.