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Top Cybersecurity Blog Posts From 2016

What cybersecurity blog posts were most popular in calendar year 2016? The numbers don’t lie, and the metrics tell us what readers liked, and shared, and commented on, and viewed the most in the past year.

As cybercrime and other online disruptions soared in 2016, it was another record-breaking year for global cybersecurity bloggers. The public- and private-sector topics covered ranged from cyberterrorism to cloud computing trends and from hacked systems to securing the Internet of Things (IoT).

Meanwhile, Lohrmann on Cybersecurity & Infrastructure saw another dramatic increase in readership and received more awards, including recognition as a Top 50 Cyber Blog by Feedspot, a Top 30 Must Read Blog by State Tech Magazine and one of the 50 Must Read Federal IT Blogs by FedTech Magazine.

Just like last year’s coverage of 2015’s most popular blogs, the 2016 year-end roundup of cyberindustry security predictions for 2017 continued to be a top result for search engines. The year-end summary of 2016 being the year of the hacktivist continues to receive wide direct and indirect media coverage.

What will 2017 bring us that connects these dots in cyberspace? Only time will tell. Nevertheless, here are the top 10 cybersecurity blog posts, based on metrics, from 2016 — counting down backward from 10 to one.

10) Understanding New Hacktivism: Where Next for Hackers With a Cause? — In 2016, hacktivism has become a mainstream force impacting millions of global lives. ‘Hacking for a cause’ has now become a weapon that transcends far beyond ‘antisocial geek misfit’ boundaries. From the DNC email hack to the Panama Papers, a surge in new hacktivism is now the top anti-establishment online tool for achieving a diverse set of causes around the globe.

9) Beyond Spearphishing: How to Address Whaling and More — First, there was phishing … then came spear phishing … and now there is whaling — and other new sophisticated social engineering techniques. The bad guys are modifying their deceptive practices. Here’s what you need to know.

8) The Biggest Trouble with Smartphones — Everybody loves their smartphone, with global adoption soaring and new helpful apps popping up daily. Faster speeds, new models and plenty of competition to lower prices make your mobile device the center of technology innovation. But is there an ‘Achilles heel’ to watch out for? The answer is yes — and here’s what you can do to help protect yourself.

7) 3-D Government: How Will Augmented Reality (AR) Disrupt the Future of Technology? — Bold claims are again being made by hot new startups and the technology giants about the coming age of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications. While most of the focus has been on gaming, retail and travel, the impact for governments could be huge. Here’s why.

6) Governments Need an Internet of Things Strategy (Note: This blog was actually posted in late 2015, but received 6th top page views in 2016.) — From smart drones to smart homes to smart cars that drive themselves, the world is dramatically changing all around us. So are governments ready to take advantage of these new innovative opportunities emerging within the Internet of Things (IoT)? Or, as almost everything gets connected to the Internet, could these newly connected devices become “Trojan Horses” that inadvertently bring the next generation of data breaches? What’s being done globally in the public sector with IoT right now?

5) Smart Cities: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — More and more devices are plugging into your government’s corner of the Internet of Things (IoT), but are we truly implementing the right projects in 'smart' ways? Here’s what you need to know about the state of smart cities opportunities along with some potholes to avoid and questions to be answered.

4) Will a Smartphone Replace Your PC? — Will you buy another desktop computer or laptop? Or, can your smartphone meet your technology needs? Should your business continue buying PCs? The IT infrastructure industry is divided, but the answer affects more than you think. Here’s why.

3) Ransomware Emergency: What Can You Do? — The rise in ransomware has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in 2016. Several hospitals recently declared states of emergency. Meanwhile, thousands of global businesses and consumers are now becoming victims of hacking attacks leading to extortion. This very serious situation requires the immediate attention of everyone from PC owners to small businesses to the large governments. Here’s the problem and what actions you must take now to protect yourself.

2) Cyberterrorism: How Dangerous is the ISIS Cyber Caliphate Threat? (Note: This blog was actually posted in mid-2015, but received 2nd top page views in 2016.) — Industry experts disagree on whether the Islamic State’s ability to mount a dangerous cyberattack is a top concern or an emerging online threat or completely overblown. But one thing is not in doubt, ISIS is making news headlines in 2015 for their exploits in cyberspace. In my view, ISIS is an emerging online threat to keep a close watch on. Here’s why.

1) The Trouble with Recounts in the Name Of Hacking — With suspicions of hacking, Jill Stein is asking for a recount of the votes cast in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. This is a bad idea. Here are 10 reasons why.

The Best of the Rest

Here are the other top cybersecurity and infrastructure blogs that round out my top 20 list for 2016:

Closing Thoughts on Blogging Trends In 2016

Many online articles, like this one, show how to use metrics to tell a story in various technology disciplines ranging from agile software development to cyber and technical infrastructure blogs. There is no doubt that page views and other metrics (like shares and likes) do not tell the entire story, but they are a very important part of the plot.

I continue to find it interesting that the blogs that get the most attention (and page views) are usually not my personal favorites or the ones that I think are the most important for people to read.

For example, I think my blog titled Why Governments Need Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Programs may be the most important trend-related blog on cyber that I wrote all year. It is vital for government security and technology pros to understand, but it is getting minimal attention. Only time will tell if this topic will get more attention in the coming year or two.

At the same time, several of my favorite blogs, such as Play a Game — Get a Job: GCHQ's New Tool to Recruit Cyber Talent, rarely do very well — but I find them to be fun to write and more creative.

Nevertheless, I know that I need to constantly reanalyze and adjust my blogging as well. Dr. Steven R. Covey once said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” The famous author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People offers a great point that impacts relationships, but I believe it also speaks to trends around us — and it challenges my writing.

I want readers to feel free connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter (@govcso), where most discussion forums often engage in interesting and thought-provoking conversations on these security and technology topics. My hope is that in 2017 (and beyond) I can listen with the intent to understand security, technology and business professionals in the public and private sector, while continuing to provide relevant, timely content that makes a difference for good at the intersection of our online and offline worlds.

Once again, a big THANK YOU to all my readers. I value your input and look forward to another exciting year!

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.