A VISUAL MAP OF EMERGING CYBERSECURITY TRENDS

Source: TechRepublic | Dan Patterson | January 4, 2017

A study by TechRepublic and data firm Affinio reveals the social media communities and influencers talking about IoT, ransomware, bots, and other cybersecurity threats.

Last year consumer, corporate, and political targets were hammered by ransomware extortion attempts, phishing excursions, and DDoS attacks. Driven by this slew of high-profile attacks, cybersecurity has rapidly emerged as a priority in 2017 for enterprise companies and SMBs.

To visualize emerging cybersecurity issues, TechRepublic and data firm Affinio sampled and diagrammed social media data from influential communities. TechRepublic previously used Affinio technology to better understand digital business trends, including voter priorities during the 2016 presidential campaign, how tech groups talk about Edward Snowden, and web media related to the Russian cyberattack.

Affinio extracts insights from web, mobile, and social media data. The company's algorithm grabs snapshots of naturally-forming user clumps and communities, then visualizes how each group is connected. For example, unsurprisingly, health care experts tend to communicate online with other health care experts. Affinio analysis shows that health care experts also communicate with information experts, tech news consumers, and digital marketers.

This process is used by enterprise companies, said Affinio spokesperson Maura Woodman, because the data helps vertical industries better understand markets and "reveals interest-based communities within a broader audience." The approach is successful, she explained, because it "helps businesses to understand target audiences on a human level, and leverage those insights in a way that is repeatable, predictable, and scalable."

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