IT Security is a constantly evolving field. There are ever stronger cyber threats and improving technologies to deal with those threats. Professionals in the IT field understand that in order to stay ahead of the curve, it is critical to be able to make smart predictions on how changing technologies and consumer demands will influence the market.

Today’s article will discuss a number of predictions that are sure to impact IT security in the near future.

The Future of Ransomware

In current years, ransomware has already gained surprising ground in the realm of IT security. Companies and individuals alike have found themselves targets of expensive ransoms paid at the risk of losing important data or files. The familiarity of ransomware by no means makes it easier to deal with from a security standpoint. In fact, it is expected that as the Internet of Things grows and connected devices become more of a staple in homes and in businesses, ransomware will gain ground through infection of smart devices such as medical devices, home or building utility and security systems, baby monitors and even cars.

Already, healthcare institutions, school systems and individuals have found their files locked and held for ransom. A recent FBI report stated that the amount paid to ransomware criminals jumped from $25 million in 2015 to $200 million in just the first quarter of 2016. That trend is expected to continue.

The Business of Cyber Crime

Another prediction for 2016 and beyond is that cyber crime will begin to follow modern organizational models of businesses as the pay off becomes more lucrative and more criminals are recruited into the field. As hacking technologies improve, so too will the processes and operations involved in creating cyber havoc. As more targets are hacked, it is expected that access to already hacked targets will be packaged, marketed and sold to the highest bidder.

Aging Infrastructure

The internet is ever expanding, but old infrastructure is rarely maintained. This adds an increased vulnerability to certain tools and information portals. Companies who are more fully invested in taking on new and exciting technologies than in maintaining and upgrading old systems find themselves exposed to potential cyber attack. Recognition of such vulnerabilities will be critical to maintaining an effective security strategy.

Powerful Prediction

IT Professionals have a front row seat to the latest trends and advances in cyber security. But as we mentioned previously, it really isn’t enough to keep pace with the changes. As such, the importance of accurate prediction will increase swiftly. Machine learning and prediction will become especially important within the industry. It will not be enough to simply prevent or detect threats as they occur. Prediction is where the long-term solutions lie. Smart tools and machine learning will become the key tool in helping companies anticipate vulnerabilities and gain understanding into where hackers will strike next. It’s critical for IT professionals to understand the tools available now and in the near future to meet such expectations.

Are you looking for your next big opportunity in IT security? Visit the ACS Professional Staffing Job Board for the best opportunities in the greater Portland and Vancouver areas.