Annual poll: single biggest security threat of the year

What will be the single biggest security threat of 2017?

We straw poll security professionals to discover what this year’s biggest security threat is likely to be

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At the very end of 2015 we ran a straw poll of individuals in the security space to determine what the single biggest security threat of 2016 would be. We divided the 74 “unstructured” comments into a number of lose sections with “people” emerging as the most popular response.

Last year the security breaches came in even more thick and fast, so, we decided to run the same poll again. To achieve this we simply asked industry professionals to tell us what they think the single biggest security threat of 2017 will be along with a short explanation as to why.

Out of the 86 usable comments we received, over a quarter (26) selected the Internet of Things. Within this section there was a lot of talk about the rise of DDoS attacks and botnets. Breaches related to staff and users came in a not-so-close second with 13 responses.

Amongst the general comments a wide number of different threats were highlighted. Data – and the vast glut of personal details now for sale on the dark web got a mention. While the continued reliance on passwords, rise of criminal AI and the increased professionalisation of cyber skills were also called out.

Of course, in some ways this is a spurious exercise. It is hard to reliably pull out a “single biggest threat” of the year, especially when so many trends are so closely interlinked. But the wide range of response is interesting. For example, although passwords were mentioned by a couple of individuals as a problem, the main alternative, biometric authentication itself was also singled out as a core security threat.

All 86 comments are listed below – I’ve just roughly grouped them into four sections:

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