Just this week a close friend contacted me because criminals locked down her employers company data with ransomware demanding $8,500.00. Her boss, who she thought was backing up all the company data, ultimately paid to get the information back. The coming year is throwing out the welcome mat for all sorts of cyber security changes.
First say hello to more ransomware. Many 2017 data breaches will have a ransomware element. Ransom demands will get bigger as the crooks behind these attacks become more confident and greedy, recognizing the value of the data that their ransomware holds hostage.
More Security Built In
The security industry will have its work cut out for it by battling data breaches and new cyber challenges, as well as continuing to struggle with the old ones. Focus will continue to go way beyond the desktop PC and into protecting utilities, medical devices, and more. Maybe finally, companies will get the memo and build tighter security into their products to help prevent you from getting hacked.
Intelligence in Security
In 2017 we can look forward to more intelligence-based approaches to security to help prevent data breaches since conventional technologies aren’t cutting it. More universal advanced analytics and real-time monitoring are coming for businesses. This will help consumers and hopefully help to prevent more forms of identity theft.
Internet of Things Vulnerabilities
There will be way more to the Internet of Things than just the retail aspect, with more and more devices becoming “smart,” and more and more people using them. This brings more vulnerability to attacks, and hence, the need for businesses to surveil these devices and their use like a hawk. Consumers should do their research before they buy anything IoT. Go to the manufacturer’s website and seek out any critical security updates.
Let’s go Phishing…
…to catch something huge. Yes, that’s what hackers are planning more than ever with this tried-and-true type of attack, forever having a field day tricking company employees and every day people into handing over sensitive information.
It isn’t Going Away…
…that is, attacks pertaining to payment cards, stolen banking credentials, and the like. No surprise here. Never click links in the body of emails and scan all attachments before opening. And STAY OUT OF YOUR SPAM FOLDER!
In 2017, data breaches may stem from wearable devices that pose a threat to businesses and consumers in that they can be exploited; they can be portals to infecting a consumers PC and home network. Make sure to keep your device’s software and firmware updated and change the default passwords.
Governments as Targets
Expect state sponsored cyber attacks and data breaches on governments to continue well into the coming year, and more evil ones at that. These may be inside jobs or from foreign sources. That means as secure as you may be with your own data and devices, the government may not be. This is one more reason why you need identity theft protection.
The Smart Car
Actually, it’s the smarter car, one that is more connected than ever—and more vulnerable because of it. Today’s connected vehicle has up to a hundred ECUs (electronic control units). Some ECUs are connected to the Internet. Imagine what this can mean: a deranged hacker controlling the brakes of your car. Manufacturers are becoming more aware of these concerns and adding more security. Consumers still need to do their homework and stay on top of any security issues related to their vehicles.
This is an offshoot of artificial intelligence in which computers can “learn” without direct manipulation by humans. If a computer learns enough, this can make a hacker’s ventures more difficult to pull off.
Denial of Service Attacks
A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is initiated by multiple unique IP addresses or devices directing traffic at a specified target which then becomes crippled. A DDoS attack is what makes something online unavailable to users like a website. If clicking a link is like taking a sip of water, a DDoS attack is water-boarding.
It’s reasonable to assume we cannot fully protect ourselves from all forms of data breaches, scams, and fraud. And with so many devices, like security cameras and IoT devices, they cannot support conventional cyber security software. There’s plenty of room for device manufacturers to create better built-in security measures. Remember to stay aware of these issues and do everything you can to stay informed.