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It’s no secret that 2016 was a rough year in terms of cybersecurity attacks. We saw big name breaches at the IRS, Verizon, the DNC, LinkedIn, and who could forget- Yahoo!

But while those breaches are top-of-mind and easy to remember, it’s important to also remember the impact hackers had on small businesses this year. Retail shops, medical offices, and financial institutions are just a few of the many SMB’s that we saw being hammered by hackers in 2016. Not only is this bad for the business owner, it’s bad for the economy. A recent study by the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60% of small businesses are out of business within six months of a breach.

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing. While it’s impossible to predict everything that will happen in 2017, we do have some ideas on where we think things are headed this year. Here’s our top 5 list:

1. Ransomware Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

Ransomware isn’t going away anytime soon. It grew into a large and profitable business in 2016, and we only expect that this will continue to expand in 2017. There will likely be an increase in scripting attacks and staged payloads that will be capable of getting around traditional AV solutions and other security products. Variants like Stampedo showed us that the attackers aren’t afraid of getting into the destructive phase. We predict that the ransom in these attacks will continue to be used primarily as a smoke screen, buying time for the hacker to do further damage inside the network.

2. IOT Becomes An Even Bigger Target

As IOT devices become more popular to consumers, they also become a more attractive target to hackers. Not only is individual at risk, but an even bigger target are the huge storage facilities that keep all this data. Unfortunately, we’re predicting a high profile attack on at least one of these data repositories. The Miari botnet showed us the true damage that can be done with IOT devices this year, and if this industry doesn’t start making serious security improvements, we’re in for a bumpy 2017.

3. Skills Gap Gets Wider

Hiring for security roles within organizations will continue to be a huge challenge for both small and large businesses alike. Experts are predicting a 1.5 million global hiring shortfall by 2019. Organizations will continue to push cybersecurity spending and other initiatives up the priority chain, resulting in even more competition over a limited talent pool. Companies will need to get creative with internal promotions and outsourcing in 2017 in order to stay on top of their game.

4. Buzzword Of The Year: Machine Learning

Cylance has officially ushered in the era of ‘Machine Learning’ when it comes to AV. As with any trendsetter, there will be no shortage of existing organizations and startups taking aim at their success and their market share. We predict that Cylance will continue to evolve and strengthen their ability to tell the complete story from malware entry point to quarantine. They will continue to be a dominate force in the NextGen AV arena.

5. Managed Security Market Explodes

Combine a widening security skills gap with smarter hackers and budget constraints, and suddenly many organizations are facing a huge burden. These factors are the reason that Frost & Sullivan predicts that the Managed Security Services sector will reach $12.78 billion by 2018. It will be essential for organizations to have a trusted cybersecurity on their side in 2017 to stay ahead of the hackers. However, not all security vendors are created equal. Performing the due diligence to find the right fit for your organization is imperative to establish a solid partnership.

Well, there you have it, our top 5 cybersecurity predictions for 2017. Kick off the new year with a solid security plan in place and a vendor you trust!