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Trends that Shaped the Security Conversation in Q1 2018

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This year’s RSA Conference kicks off on April 16, weeks after the traditional timing of mid-February. However, that didn’t slow down a busy quarter for PAN’s security team.

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Between data breaches, client news, rapid response, new technology and the upcoming GDPR deadline, PAN kept its pulse on the security industry. Security continues to dominate the mainstream news cycle and is an increasingly hot topic for all of IT. As a full-service marketing and communications agency, PAN worked with top security organizations to achieve their business goals this past quarter by influencing the right audiences at the right time. From securing lead-generating media wins to enhancing digital marketing efforts, Q1 was just as fast-paced and rewarding even without RSA Conference week!

We anticipate many of the themes discussed this past quarter will continue to fuel the discussion during RSA Conference 2018:

Data Breaches… and Even More Data Breaches.

In the last two weeks alone, we’ve already witnessed some major data breaches. While attacks at beloved American retailers Under Armour and Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor exposed the data of more than a combined 150 million consumers, the city of Atlanta has been locked down by a ransomware infection, keeping computers offline for more than a week. What are the odds another significant breach hits before RSA Conference? We’re thinking they’re pretty good and that it’ll be a hot topic at the show, too.

Blockchain Technology

Predicted to be the solution for many of our cybersecurity woes, discussion about the potential applications of blockchain across industries shows no signs of slowing. Said to make the process of sharing and accessing data a lot easier – and safer – many industries, like healthcare, have begun to turn to blockchain to store their information. With organizations getting hit with data breaches left and right, we can expect to hear a lot about this ‘hard to hack’ technology at the big show in a couple of weeks.

Cryptocurrency-Stealing Malware

You can’t talk about blockchain without at least mentioning cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin values reached an all-time high in December 2017 (nearly $20,000), we began to see more cryptocurrency-stealing cyberattacks, like the ‘HaoBao’ phishing campaign that targeted banking institutions and big investors. According to client ZeroFox, “social and digital accounts associated with cryptocurrencies are prime targets for account takeovers,” meaning we’ll likely see more of these types of attacks in the coming year.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

I’m sure most of you, much like us, are glued to your inbox. Email rules our lives. So, it’s no wonder more and more organizations are falling victim to ‘business email compromise,’ or BEC, attempts. Impersonation attacks targeting businesses are on the rise – and the numbers are scary. According to client Mimecast, recent research found more than 18,000 impersonation attacks were delivered to users’ inboxes in 2017.

Data Privacy

It’d be crazy to not expect to hear ‘Facebook’ or ‘Cambridge Analytica’ continue to drive conversations as we head into RSA Conference. Data privacy is a real issue taking center stage across the nation right now. Many of these conversations center around determining who’s responsible for ensuring data privacy, the repercussions for exposing unauthorized data and tips for keeping data anonymized… and RSA participants will undoubtedly take it a step further.

…and GDPR

Just over a month after RSA (on May 25), the General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect (#ICYMI, the GDPR requires businesses to protect and safeguard the personal data of EU citizens), and, although a European regulation, it has a big effect on US companies. Expect to hear a lot of conversation about what accounts for personally identifiable information (which client Avecto says can include data such as medical records, biometric data, passport numbers, social security and credit card details) – and just how many organizations are ready to comply with the GDPR’s requirements for protecting it.

Will we see you at RSA Conference 2018? To learn more about where to find the PAN team, click here.


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