Georgia Tech Releases 2017 Outlook for Emerging Cyber Threats

Privacy, Democracy and Technology on Collision Course

Sept. 28, 2016 | Atlanta, GA

The Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP) at Georgia Tech today released the “2017 Emerging Cyber Threats, Trends & Technologies Report” – an expert-driven review of recent cybersecurity trends, developing research, and threat considerations for 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 tread cautiously.
  • Healthcare fraud takes off in the absence of good defenses, as personal data surpasses stolen credit cards in value.
  • Cultural differences and unresolved approaches to data encryption continue to mire businesses with uncertainty and risk in North America and Europe.
  • Insecure, aging e-voting systems emerge, but crowdsourced and open-source solutions hold promise for a solution.
  • Public proof of who is behind cyberattacks remains elusive; Georgia Tech works to develop a methodical science for attribution as a new research area.
  • A growth in student applications to computer science programs and degree completion suggests a changing tide in the nation’s shortfall of IT workers as colleges adapt to increased demand for education.

“Cyberattacks today are flourishing because almost every organization conducts some portion of its business online – putting even digitally cautious consumers at risk when data is not sufficiently protected,” says Wenke Lee, co-director of the IISP and professor of computer science at Georgia Tech. “There is widespread reluctance to share threat intelligence between organizations, and there’s a lack of public attribution about who is responsible for an attack, making it nearly impossible for the public to defend themselves.”

Georgia Tech issues the Threat Report each fall in conjunction with the annual Cyber Security Summit, held Sept. 28 in midtown Atlanta. The Summit brings together government, industry, and academia for objective conversation about the challenges of securing information and cyber-connected systems. Attending this year were guests from Australia, Canada, England, Germany, and Israel, and visitors from University of California Davis, University of Minnesota, and throughout the university system of Georgia. Nearly 67 percent of all attendees are working professionals in private industry. 

Contributors to the report and Summit included professors and research scientists from 10 units across Georgia Tech, including public policy, business, computer science, electrical engineering, professional education, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

“Few universities have the aptitude of nationally top-ranked computer science and engineering programs and the potency of a multi-million-dollar, applied research arm with a long history of supporting military, government and industry,” says Bo Rotoloni, co-director of the IISP and director of the Information and Cyber Sciences Directorate at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, the university’s applied research arm.  “Under this unique combination, Georgia Tech can help foretell how the ‘white hats’ should prepare because we continually witness how the ‘black hats’ adapt.”

Underway at Georgia Tech are multi-year research projects in the areas of information assurance, attribution, cyber-physical systems, health information technology, smart cities, and securing the Internet of Things.

About the Institute for Information Security & Privacy

The Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), connects government, industry, and academia to solve the grand challenges of cybersecurity. As a coordinating body for multidisciplinary labs dedicated to academic and applied research, the IISP leverages intellectual capital from across Georgia Tech and its external partners to address vital solutions for national security, economic continuity, and individual safety. The IISP provides a gateway to faculty, students, and scientists and a central location for national and international collaboration around six critical research thrusts: policy, consumer-facing privacy, cyber physical systems, risk, trust, and attribution. Unbound by system rigidity, we’re creating the next solutions that close the innovation gap with immediate application in the real world.