The use of personally identifiable information (PII) as a sole means of authentication will become a thing of the past, and multi-factor authentication will become the standard for accessing sensitive information. With sophisticated breaches becoming the norm, organizations will rely heavily on security systems that have implemented a form of multi-factor authentication to access critical data. This will ensure there are enough steps of verification to make inappropriate or malicious access much more difficult for would-be hackers.
The breach that occurred last year at the IRS, where hackers used PII to steal tax returns, is the perfect example of why this shift will occur. Attackers were able to use legitimate processes — namely a "Get Transcript" feature that provided access to old tax documents — to commit fraud, resulting in losses in the tens of millions of dollars. Internet black markets are experiencing a Golden Age and you'd be hard pressed to find an individual over the age of 18 whose PII isn't currently for sale. This state of affairs sets an industry precedent for more robust authentication protocols, and makes it likely that multi-factor authentication will become as common as the use of passwords.
In the cybersecurity world, 2015 was a year marked by Big Data breaches and the emergence of the privacy vs. national security debate. It's safe to say, therefore, that companies in 2016 will turn to security experts to ensure that they aren't caught off guard by the shifting threat and regulatory landscapes. As many companies consider security to be their biggest concern for 2016, it's important to be prepared and not be caught unaware.
In the following slideshow, Accellion provides an overview of the trends expected to be seen in cybersecurity and how these changes will affect C-level executives and boards of directors.