The evolution of cybercrime – five key predictions for 2018
Although companies are putting significant emphasis on evolving and improving their cybersecurity, cybercrime is following a similar pattern, largely enabled by the emergence of new advanced technologies.
With this in mind, Dave Palmer, Director of Technology at DarkTrace, predicts how cybercrime will evolve in a range of ways during the course of 2018.
1) AI will supercharge phishing attacks
AI won’t just be used by the good guys. In 2018, we will start to see the emergence of sophisticated threat-actors harnessing AI technology to launch sophisticated, automated campaigns. Imagine a piece of malware that can train itself on how your writing style differs depending on who you are contacting, and leverages this nuanced understanding to send tailored, contextually relevant messages to your contacts. These phishing messages will be so realistic that the target will fall for them, downloading malicious attachments or following dangerous links. Such advances in AI will take us to the next stage in defenders versus attackers, and we need to be ready.
2) Large-scale attacks will become automated – and hackers won’t discriminate
2017 saw the emergence of self-spreading attacks causing widespread damage from WannaCry to NotPetya. Indeed, cyber-criminals go where the money goes: adopting this capability lets them infect a different magnitude of devices compared to past years. 2018 will see more of this – pairing automation with ransomware, spear-phishing, and IoT to effectively target a vast number of victims. These attacks won’t discriminate – merely participating in a national economy now appears to be sufficient to make an organization vulnerable. No company is out of scope for malicious intent, even if they think they have nothing worth stealing.
3) Attackers will threaten the integrity of organizations’ data – manipulating the market on the way
The hacks of the past year have heralded a new era. Rather than merely being motivated by financial gain, hackers are devoting more time and resources to longer lead campaigns with a different goal – the integrity of information. These ‘trust attacks’ can cause long-term damage to organizations through the erosion of trust in the data itself. If a criminal wanted to harm an oil and gas firm, for example, a less obvious and more damaging method of attack than switching off an oil rig might be to hack into the sensors that they drag through the oceans collecting data and change the information that they send back, in order to influence the firm into buying drilling rights in the wrong places. Tomorrow’s attackers aren’t motivated purely by dollars – and organizations must be prepared.
4) Sophisticated threat-actors will target critical infrastructure
In late 2017, the U.S. government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated threat-actors are targeting industrial firms. It is almost a certainty that in 2018, we will see an uptick in sophisticated campaigns against national critical infrastructure. More troubling still, the threat actors don’t even have to be limited to nation-states. Individuals that seek to do harm now have access to a variety of nation-state toolkits on the Dark Web, and it’s only a matter of time before they begin investing the resources into launching disruptive campaigns of their own.
5) AI won’t just be predictive – it will fight back
In 2017, AI met the challenge of identifying never-before-seen cyber-threats by understanding ‘self’ for corporate networks. In 2018, those networks will become self-defending, uniquely capable of taking precise, targeted action to neutralize cyber-attacks as they emerge. 2018 will truly be the year of machines fighting machines within organizations – may the strongest algorithms win.
Dave Palmer, Director of Technology, Darktrace
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.