9 Emerging Innovations in Technology that Will Impact Cyber Security

This blog will discuss all the latest innovations used to strengthen cyber security. It includes existing products as well as technologies that are yet to be developed. It will also touch some features and operation of the products and methods in this list.

Computers and smart devices play a vital role in our daily lives in this modern world and age. Their uses have grown manifolds and most of our activities – most especially at work – would rely on their functions. They are slaying and dominating and we can't help but embrace the innovations that keep on coming.

However, along with the comfortable life and solid connectivity they assure us with, we are also put into the risk of cybercrimes. Some of which are even scarier than the crimes that happen in the real world. For that, the demand of effective internet security has become a crucial issue.

Instances of Hacking and Other Cybercrimes

Ever since the World Wide Web rolled out in the late 1990s, computer users saw the downside of internet connectivity and it is not very pleasing.

Spams washed email accounts, viruses that attacked computer systems were spread, terrifying hacks wreaked havoc on big enterprises, and sensitive information were revealed to the world. We have seen all these and other kinds of phishing, theft, trickery, and piracy that affected even the most credible companies like JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo, Google, and eBay among many others.

Despite that, we still rely on the internet to accomplish important tasks like tracking finances, project management, marketing and campaigns, engagement, education, and so much more. Since we can no longer undo the influence of computer and internet in our lives, all we are left to do is to come up with a way to protect ourselves from unscrupulous people hanging out in the cyber world.

Everyone's responsible for preventing these crimes. It is our task to protect our digital properties stored on the internet. How do we do this?

Here are eight (8) innovations to help you ensure your cyber security:

1. Computer Firewall

Among the oldest methods of protecting our computer is the computer firewall. At present, firewall has become a basic feature of computers that it already comes pre-installed on most PCs. In fact, the two major operating systems – Mac OS and Windows OS – continuously update their firewall features to keep up with the modern hacking styles used by culprits today.

Firewalls serve as barriers between the online world and your information. They prevent unauthorized access to your computer networks and when someone tries to intrude your system, you'll get an alert.

To make the most of your computer's firewall, you need to check if it's enabled. If you think that the built-in firewall isn't enough and you still get attempts of hacking, you can add an extra layer of security with a hardware firewall where some of the most credible brands you'll find are Cisco, Sophos or Fortinet.

2. Antivirus Software

Computer viruses, Trojans, and key loggers are some of the common threats that try to infiltrate our computers. These are specialized ways of gaining information from our database using high-end technology that most of the times look safe and legit. Little do we know, we have already become victims of phishing.

Antivirus programs are the most popular means of PC protection these days. They are easily accessible through a simple search on Google or going through articles which list top antivirus software. There you'll find a huge array of reliable antivirus software in their latest versions like Bitdefender, Symantec, Avast, Avira and AVG.

Viruses these days do all sorts of damage to your computer network. Apart from gaining access to your important files, they can also slow down your computer, delete data, or even gain control of your system. The scary part is, there's no protection yet developed that can totally wipe out a virus.

Viruses these days do all sorts of damage to your computer network. Apart from gaining access to your important files, they can also slow down your computer, delete data, or even gain control of your system. The scary part is, there's no protection yet developed that can totally wipe out a virus.

However, with an antivirus running on your PC, you can minimize infiltration and put to halt any more upcoming unauthorized code or software. The major role of an antivirus, as was discussed by Balasubramanian S too in his article "Working principle of an Antivirus- How an antivirus works?," is to detect real-time threats to make sure your data and your whole system are safe. So it is important to make sure to turn your antivirus on every time you go online and schedule a deep scan to check any virus-infected files in your PC.

3. Anti-spyware

Spyware is another type of malware that secretly monitors and collects information from your personal files or organizational network. It is often too hard to detect and difficult to remove. To know that you are being attacked, spyware usually comes in a form of an unwanted app or search result that directs you to a suspicious website.

Beware of this kind of malware as it can record your keystroke to guess your passwords. To protect yourself from this malware, you can install anti-spyware software where the McAfee, Norton, and Bitdefender brands are the top providers. Their anti-spyware products are proven notorious on blocking threats and scanning all incoming information by AV testing labs.

4. Hardware Authentication

As you know, our traditional ways of protecting our PCs are no longer enough. There is now a wide range of cutting edge technologies used to improve computer defense against cybercrimes. One of them is hardware authentication.

We've seen so much of this on movies like "Mission Impossible," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," and other sci-fi movies. So it may not be something new although the perfect hardware authentication is still being developed too.

Usernames and passwords are no longer adequate in securing data. Hence, adding another authentication process became necessary. One of these added authentication process is validating a user's hardware.

A hardware for validating user identity can come in many forms like an ID with unique QR codes or bar codes to prove that the person trying to access the network is really an authorized user. Another is the use of tokens that only the network can read or scan.

Intel has been working on this type of authentication, but instead of an id or a token, it used a chipset to make a device part of an authentication process. For example, when your mobile phone carries this certain chipset, it becomes a tool for an authentication process.

5. User-Behavior Analytics

This User behavior analytics (UBA) technology is still a part of an authentication process. Facebook's security check is a solid example of this technology. When your usual behavior upon sign up changes suddenly, it automatically logs you off. Facebook will then require you to complete some security checks like submitting a photo or ID to verify that you are the real owner of the account. It will then review your submission and will unblock you only if it verifies that you are the authorized user.

User behavior analytics uses "big data analytics" to single out malicious behavior demonstrated by a user trying to access an account or system.

This can, however, be annoyingly strict. The real users are sometimes kicked out when they shouldn't be just because they accessed a system from a different location or computer. So there has been a debate on the accuracy of User Behavior Analytics as a part of authentication process. Either way, this only proves that this kind of cybercrime defense is strict and effective.

6. Data Encryption and Tokenization

I've talked about tokens for hardware authentication. They have other uses, though, like preventing data loss.

Both encryption and tokens can protect sensitive data from being deleted by hackers. How?

The encryption method mathematically transforms plain text into ciphers. These cipher texts are generated with a key and an encryption algorithm. It is like translating your data into a whole new language that only your authorized system can decipher. The decryption process still involves the same element but this time, you start by running the cipher text, unlock it with a key, run it through an encryption algorithm and translate it into plain text.

Meanwhile, tokenization generates a random string of characters called tokens which are only used as reference to the original data. It is not a code that when breached will reveal the sensitive data you are trying to protect. Instead, it serves as a bridge to access the token vault where the sensitive data is securely stored and protected by encryption.

7. Deep learning

Deep learning uses a number of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to create cyber security measure. This mimics the human brain when it comes to processing data that it use in decision making.

Like user behavior analytics, this technology focuses on determining malicious behavior in a digital environment. It collects data it calls "big data" from social media, search engines, e-commerce, and other places on the internet where users hang out. It usually builds patterns around these big data which typically include time, geographic location, IP address, type of retailer and any other feature that is likely to point to fraudulent activity. When a new activity is done in the same environment but uses new pattern, it will work to determine whether you are committing fraud or not.

8. The Cloud

The cloud is simply a server that allows you to store your data, software and application that you can access in any device. While this feature makes life more convenient for computer users, it also makes data storage more risky.

Since data can be accessed anywhere, there are risks of hacking. This is why security around cloud has been greatly improved.

Cloud computing is starting to make a transformative influence on cyber defense. As cloud storages come with layers of security processes like passwords and credentials, authentication, and encryption, it is a bit more difficult for thieves to steal data from this storage than on-premise IT. You can also add another layer by installing internet security software.

9. Physical Biometrics

What used to be a security measure for protecting physical premises only has now become a preferred cybercrime defense technology.

What used to be a security measure for protecting physical premises only has now become a preferred cybercrime defense technology.

Another is the scan of the iris which we always see on movies. It may still be far from being a trend but it's never impossible to deploy this technology on devices too. Other means include facial recognition, voiceprints, hand geometry, and behavioral characteristics like keystrokes, handwriting, way of walking, use of mouse, and other movements unique to every user that can be analyzed by scanners.

Bottom line

The internet is a rich source of information that we certainly need. Almost everything we do in our work greatly relies on connectivity. Much more when AR, VR, AI, MR, XR will be mainstreamed. As we develop more and more technological products to improve our lives, these can also be used as tools to commit cybercrimes.

So while we continuously commit to making revolutions, we should also design stronger defenses against cybercrimes. A combination of hardware and software cyber securities, plus observing proper computing practices will build a thicker barrier between you and these cybercrimes.

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