Cyber-crime has become one of the greatest threats to businesses, government institutions, and individuals, as hackers are constantly finding new targets and advanced tools to break through cyber defenses. As technology improves, new vulnerabilities are discovered and new obstacles challenge security professionals.
The past year was followed by a number of high-impact cyber-attacks. Namely, a number of devastating, high-impact cyber-attacks like rumors that the US election was hacked, marked 2017. Apart from the rumors regarding the hacked US election, there were ransomware attacks all over the world, and of course, the Equifax breach.
Unfortunately, as challenging as it is today, cyber-security threats will likely get worse in the future, as attacks get more sophisticated. As the years pass, the global security threat outlook keeps on developing. In order to fight this threat, all business entities must understand and learn how to cope with these global cyber threats.
In 2018, these cyber threats are expected to grow at a constant rate, as more complex challenges continue to surface, and cybercriminals keep coming up with new ways of attacking secure IT systems. The following are some of the biggest internet security threats that can impact the operations of IT-powered organizations in the year 2018.
Over the past 12 months, we saw a huge number of ransomware attacks. Ransomware is, in fact, a relatively simple form of malware that breaches defenses and locks down computer files using strong encryption. Then, hackers demand money in exchange for digital keys, needed to unlock the data. Quite often, especially if the encrypted data hasn’t been backed up, victims pay. This has made ransomware popular with criminal hackers, who have recently started demanding payment in cryptocurrencies which are extremely hard to trace.
Google, Amazon, IBM and other big cloud operators, have hired the best digital security that will protect them from such attacks. However, smaller companies can’t afford such thing, which makes them more vulnerable. For a small-scale local business, even a single tiny breach could lead to a big payday for the hackers involved. To prevent your computer from getting hijacked, avoid clicking on unknown links, keep security software up to date, and backup everything on an external hard drive.
Attacks on Cryptocurrencies
According to the latest research, currently there are 1324 cryptocurrencies in total, and this number is expected to increase. The rapid increase in the value of some cryptocurrencies has pushed thieves into massive criminal activities against virtual currency scheme. As more people mine cryptocurrencies on their computers, cybercriminals will organize more attacks designed to steal crypto coins from users, using malware to steal funds from victims’ computers or to deploy hidden mining tools on machines.
Threats to IoT (Internet of Things)
As the value of real-time data collection advances, day-by-day, individuals and business entities are increasingly making use of IoT devices. But, unlike our traditional devices, the IoT devices pose a significant challenge and a sense of less control, simply because they are not the best protected entities, and are susceptible to hacking. That’s why protecting them is so important and will continue to do so in 2018. Millions of connected devices have little or no defense against hackers who want to gain control of them and use them to enter into a network or access valuable data. The number of cyber-attacks powered by compromised IoT devices has become a great concern of the IT security industry, which is why IoT vendors are already putting more time and effort into securing their devices.