Irish information security provider, Ward Solutions, has today claimed that 2018 will be the year that a full-scale cyber war breaks out between countries. The provider also predicts that nation states and law enforcement agencies around the world will begin to use cyber tactics offensively.
Another prediction from Ward Solutions is that, in 2018, cybercriminals will embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies, using them to supplement their attacks and circumvent the advanced cybersecurity tools employed by businesses.
At the same time, companies will also embrace AI and ML to bolster their defences and protect their assets. This will lead to an ongoing arms race between criminals and organisations, as both threats and defences increase in complexity.
Ward Solutions also predicts that large swathes of the civilian population will be impacted as cyber-attacks intensify and increase in frequency. It believes that 2018 will see cybercriminals focus their attacks on critical infrastructure, such as national power grids, to destabilise the countries in their crosshairs. Ireland is ill-equipped to deal with this type of attack, according to the company.
Speaking this week, CEO of Ward Solutions, Pat Larkin said, "2018 will see cybersecurity threats increase further in sophistication and the amount of damage that they can potentially cause. Furthermore, as state-sponsored groups increase their attacks on countries’ national infrastructures, civilians could begin to suffer as essential services come under strain. Ireland is particularly unprepared to deal with an attack on our critical national infrastructure, and to protect our interests we need to implement a comprehensive national cyber security strategy as soon as possible."
He added, "There is clear evidence that state-sponsored cyber-attacks are already happening around the world. Continued attacks on nations by cybercriminals will build legitimacy for national cyber response teams, and 2018 marks the tipping point when those targeted nations escalate their response to cyber-attacks, which they now classify an act of war. Cyber-attacks represent a very real threat to national security, and so expect countries to devise official coordinated defensive responses, utilising both cyber and physical, military force to protect their interests."