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The channel must work closer with customers to counter cybercrime

The ongoing evolution of the cybersecurity landscape shows no sign of slowing as we head into 2019, so we can expect to see some major developments during the year ahead.

We’ll see an increase in mobile malware as criminals look to exploit mobile platforms in order to gain access to a wealth of personal and financial data. The value of data will see an upsurge in the number of attacks on cloud platforms such as AWS, Office 365 and Microsoft Azure too.

The demand for credit card details will continue, and there will be a greater focus on skimming operations targeting third-party payment platforms. This means the prospect of financial gain will likely be a key driver behind the rise in the amount of malware related specifically to cryptocurrency mining.

Multi-faceted attacks, in which different threats such as ransomware, cryptojacking and data exfiltration all work together in synergy, will prove extremely challenging to identify and mitigate, requiring organisations to question every threat and its potential intention. Behind all of this activity, however, will be a series of consolidations, as disparate bad actors join forces to create fewer, but more powerful, malware-as- a-service families.

With new and evolved threats beginning to emerge throughout the coming year, and with cybercriminals refocusing their tactics and working more closely together, organisations will be on the look-out for those security solutions and practices that will protect their networks and their data.

It’s important, therefore, that channel partners stay abreast of the latest developments in cybercrime in order to advise their customers on how to develop their security strategy, and make the best possible investments in security technology.

Guidance and integration

We’ve already touched upon the value of data, but with 2019 set to see widespread adoption of data-driven technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence and, of course, 5G, it will become increasingly critical to the success of any business.

Many of the large number of tools and solutions used by organisations to collect the ever-growing volume and variety of data will operate in silos, however, and therefore won’t communicate with each other. As a result, it can be hard to realise when a particular system or application is under attack.

Given the potential power and sophistication of the threat landscape that businesses are likely to face in 2019, it is incumbent on channel partners to work closely with their customers to help build pro-active, platform-based and – crucially – integrated cybersecurity systems that will enable them to detect potential threats, protect data and, when targeted, quickly correct systems so as to minimise any potential damage or disruption.

We believe the cybercriminal community will be working more closely together during 2019 and to counter their efforts, we recommend that our channel partner community does the same. By offering guidance and ensuring their tools and solutions work together rather than in silos, experienced channel partners will play a key role in helping businesses to counter the latest tactics and techniques employed by cybercriminals to disrupt their operations throughout 2019 and beyond.

Ed Baker is the EMEA partner lead at McAfee.

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