yrofmonkeyThe Year of the (Fire) Monkey is upon us and the curious, playful, smart, opportunistic and sometimes mischievous character could influence events throughout 2016. Whether you were born under the symbol or not, Monkeys thrive on challenges and 2016 is sure to bring some obstacles during the year.

2015 (Year of the Sheep) brought us a rash of high profile breaches, a bunch of new IoT devices and wearables, continued, bigger clouds and innovative attacks on vulnerable infrastructures along with the continuous deluge of big data. This is sure to continue as our digital, software-defined lives connect and intersect with the things around us. Organizations will need to extend their risk management focus to areas outside their control like the cloud and social channels but also consider the human element in all this. The new threats and heightened risk may put some companies in peril due to the lack of knowledgeable security IT personnel available.

Mobility, both the state of being and the devices we use, will continue to grow and be an immense enabler and/or inhibitor for organizations. Mobile is not only the new shiny phone you got over the holidays but also all the IoT gadgets looking for a place in our home, offices and bodies…along with how we interact with them as humans. Cutting the cord will mean more than subscribing to some streaming media service but the way of the wireless life. You are now the device, controller and data generator. With that, security challenges like authentication, privacy, malware/data protection, compliance and the management of those services will be paramount. 

And as our lives – personal and professional – continue to be chronicled on the internet, thieves, nation states and activists will continue to be one step ahead probing data and looking for that golden slab of info. Making money, causing disruptions or outright take downs through online attacks are big motivations for those seeking notoriety or simply a big score. But it’s not always from the crook or spy half a globe away. Insider threats, malicious or not, have made the traditional perimeter almost useless.

So while trends like cloud, mobility, IoT and big data will consume IT departments, securing those trends and how they map to business objectives will be the monkey on organizations back for 2016. Let’s try to be intelligent, dignified, clever, optimistic, confident, agile and curious about our challenges or the arrogant, deceptive, reckless and manipulative bad guys will get the best of us.

The 2016 Monkey is here, and we’ll need to handle it with grace.

ps

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This article originally appeared 1-7-16 on F5.com

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