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Research Horizons

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Cyber Threats and Trends

illustration of hand touching screen with world map and data flow


Georgia Tech’s 2017 Emerging Cyber Threats, Trends, and Technologies report highlights concerns about global manipulation of information, health care fraud, data encryption, and other issues likely to affect society in the year ahead. Among the findings:

  • Global information manipulation by nation-states is now widespread, causing Western nations to curtail free speech and news consumers to view information cautiously.
  • Health care fraud is taking off in the absence of good defenses, as the value of personal data far surpasses that of stolen credit cards. Cultural differences and unresolved approaches to data encryption continue to mire companies with uncertainty and risk.
  • Crowdsourced and open-source solutions hold promise for addressing insecure, aging electronic voting systems.
  • Public proof of who is behind cyberattacks remains elusive.

“Cyberattacks today are flourishing because almost every organization conducts some portion of its business online — putting even digitally cautious consumers at risk when it is not sufficiently protected,” said Wenke Lee, co-director of the Institute for Information Security and Privacy (IISP) and professor of computer science at Georgia Tech. “There is widespread reluctance to share threat information, and there’s a lack of public attribution about who is responsible, making it nearly impossible for the public to defend themselves.”

Georgia Tech’s broad understanding of cybersecurity issues can be used to develop strategies to address a range of threats, noted Bo Rotoloni, co-director of IISP and director of two cybersecurity labs at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. “Under this unique combination, Georgia Tech can help foretell how the ‘white hats’ should prepare — because we continually witness how the ‘black hats’ adapt,” he said. — Tara La Bouff

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