Erich’s Cyber Security (and other) Predictions for 2017

Well, this seems to be the time for predictions, so who am I to break tradition? I’m not going to waste valuable time telling you how qualified I am to make these predictions because, it really doesn’t matter. I have given very little thought to these and have researched almost nothing. Only the first group is liable to be true (almost guaranteed as a matter of fact. So, here we go…

Disclaimer: These predictions and opinions are mine and mine alone, not those of my employer.

Group 1 – Pretty Much a Sure Thing

  • Social Engineering Will Continue to Be a Dominant Force in Breaches – Let’s face it, people are going to continue to get phished. Phishing will continue to result in more breaches, lost money and W2’s and ransomware infections. Expect W2 scams to start in January and continue until mid-year. The others will happen constantly.


  • The Gunslinger Movie Will Finally Be Released – And even if it sucks, I will like it. I don’t have a choice. It is not likely to ever be redone in my lifetime, and I have waited for so long, it simply can’t suck. This has nothing to do with cyber security, but I don’t really care. It’s on the list.


  • Security Awareness Training Will Continue to Be The Best Defense Against Phishing Attacks – Seriously though, the industry will really step up the game this year to combat phishing. As platforms mature, new features designed to get ahead of the bad guys will be released and will significantly reduce click rates. Organizations that did not believe in the value of SAT will have their eyes opened to how effective it can be. Any of you that know me, know that I won’t promote anything I really don’t honestly believe in. It’s why I work for KnowBe4. It works and helps admins in all company sizes.


  • Someone You Like Will Die a Horrible Death on Game of Thrones – Like someone in the series? They will die. Prepare for it.



  • Someone You Like Will Die a Horrible Death on Walking Dead – See above.



Group 2 – Likely

  • I Will End Up With Another Year of Free Credit Monitoring – The only real question is related to what PII they will lose. My medical records, credit card info or something else entirely? It’s almost exciting to ponder the possibilities. After being impacted by the VA, Target, Home Depot and OPM breaches, I’ve had some sort of free credit monitoring in place for years!


  • All Retail Stores Will Be Called Amazon – Much like the story line in the movie Demolition Man predicted with Taco Bell, all retail stores will become Amazon. This will be great when it comes to remembering domain names, as all stores will be, but it’s going to wreak havoc on GPS directions when you want to shop IRL.


  • No Less Than 10 Security Vendors Will Try To Convince You That Their Product is All You Need – Marketing departments will be working overtime to convince you that their widget can replace your security staff and let you sleep well at night. Don’t believe the hype. There is no silver bullet. Give the ones that are honest about the issue your time, ignore the rest.


  • You Will Try To Restore From Backup, And It Will Fail – Yeah, odds are, if you need your data back, it won’t be there. Remember the 3-2-1 Rule and you can move the odds in your favor.


Group 3 – Not Very Likely (a.k.a. Not a chance in the world)

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will Not Be An Embarrassment.  – The Bucs will leverage Winston to win the division. Fans will be proud of their team and will not have to whisper “the Bucs” while averting their eyes, when asked what team they support.


  • No Major Breaches Will Occur in 2017 – Yes, there will be minor ones, but the big ones are over. Organizations will finally take security seriously after 2016. This will allow overworked Infosec pros a chance to get the right tools and staffing to prevent major breaches.


  • Celebrities Will Stop Being Involved In Politics – Celebs will finally realize that they are talented in singing/dancing/acting/cooking/being a hopeless case in a reality show, but really don’t understand global politics as much as they think they do. It will occur to them that some people spend a lifetime studying politics and economics to get in the position to have their opinions respected. This is not the same as playing the President on a made-for-TV movie.



OK, So that’s about all I’m going to try to predict for 2017. Let me know in the comments if you have any predictions of your own.


Erich Kron is the Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, and has over 20 years’ experience in the medical, aerospace manufacturing and defense fields. He is the former security manager for the US Army 2nd Regional Cyber Center-Western Hemisphere.

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