By Samantha Woollard (Internet Security Specialist) 9 January 2017
2016 seen the rise of cyber security attacks, resulting in nearly a third of all computer users experiencing some sort of attack. However, 2017 has been described to be the year of creative malicious hacks. Cyber security is no longer classed as only the IT departments problem, with the increase of smart hacks and evolving threats, every employee should be informed of cyber security and ways to prevent a breach. The more your business anticipates an attack, the better you can be prepared. Below are the most predicted threats of 2017.
Ransomware is growing.
Even though it has been around for years, ransomware rose to be -come a real threat during 2016. It has resulted in hospitals and organisations paying larges ransoms to regain control of their systems, with no other choice for them to make. With the continuing success of these attacks, hackers are only improving and willing to invest more time and money into better and more complicated attacks.
At the end of the year ransomware variants started developing worm-like qualities, where they are able to spread independently, resulting in hundreds of computers being infected in a short space of time. This type of attack will more than likely become more common in the months ahead and with the bitcoin value reaching its highest value this week since 2013, this can only be bad news for businesses. Not only will computer machine’s be vulnerable to ransomware, it is predicted that there will be a large increase on mobile device attacks.
With attackers improving their abilities to design and create new and unique variants, ransomware can only get more dangerous in the coming months.
Increased IoT Attacks.
With the increase of IoT devices in our homes and offices, the global digital attack surface will begin to grow exponentially over the next few years. New devices that have never been connected to the Internet before are collecting information about us and accessing information over our networks; these need to be designed with security in mind. Many small to large organisations are creating new IoT devices at low cost and not taking into account of what information the device will be accessing, what risk arises if someone could obtain this information or what security flaws exist with this device connected to the network.
As the goal is to get these devices created and on the market, the risk and security of them is an after thought. This leaves no time or money for security testing or patch management as with computers and mobile phones, resulting in vulnerable devices that attackers may easily hack into and gain your information. As this is a new area of technology and is known for its lack of security, it is an attractive invitation for hackers this year.
Attacks on Company’s Reputation and Trust
2017 brings around a new attacker’s perspective. In the past, customer details and identity theft were targeted. Attacks on corporate information, top level secrets and critical infrastructure are now trending amongst cyber criminals. With attacks becoming more intelligent, there is a growing risk to businesses. Both the reputation of a business and the trust their clients have can be damaged through a single attack.
Employees can be a strong or a weak link in the chain. If they are ill-prepared for an attack, it can result in disastrous consequences such as social engineering attacks and data loss. By educating staff on good security practices and behaviours, understanding how they themselves may be used to carrying out an attack and also keeping an eye out for anything unusual on their computer, can all be steps on building better security for your business.
Relax. Your security is Intact.
Author: Intact Security