Every year, the security industry tries to predict what the biggest threats will be in hopes of pulling together a stronger defense. It’s impossible to get this 100% right, but if we use what we learned in 2017, we can leverage that knowledge to safeguard businesses and consumers in the new year.
In 2017, we saw the severity — and the frequency — of cyberattacks reach a level that no one could’ve predicted. WannaCry, NotPetya and Locky, dominated the news cycle as hackers were able to target businesses internationally and cost them billions of dollars. Every year we think the biggest attacks will go unmatched, but we know that a secure future is the only way to prevent cybercrimes from having a bigger and bolder impact. In the coming year, there are five key security events that will occur that we must be prepared for.
The cybercriminal “underground” network will grow and evolve. You thought 2017 was bad for cyberattacks? I predict 2018 won’t be any better. Over the past few years, it’s become easier to be a cybercriminal. You don’t even have to have a lot of technical knowledge — just the ability to find the right tools. The more we publicize the success of cybercrimes, the more likely criminals are to take notice. For example, the ransomware profits saturated news headlines, touting it as a $1 billion industry last year — meaning, for too many, it’s becoming too profitable to ignore. The educated cybercriminals will make their attacks more destructive and harder to prevent in order to establish dominance in a saturated criminal market.
Cybercriminals will continue looking to cash in on the cryptojacking “gold rush” that has become more mainstream. Cryptocurrencies are exploding in popularity and driving the escalation of cryptojacking activity or the secret use of your computer to mine cryptocurrency. Most people don’t understand that with this type of threat, there is a chance an everyday user could “mine” their own wallet. This blurs the line between true cybercrime and makes it harder to monitor for. I also see a chance that, due to mining by visitors to a web property in disclosed cryptojacking activity, an individual could use this technique to replace advertising on their websites to create a new means of revenue. However, the most likely scenario for cryptojacking is that legitimate websites will be compromised due to criminals mining for cryptocurrencies. This leads me to believe it will be one of the top cybercrime tactics to look out for in 2018.
We also will see industry verticals such as education and healthcare take a broader hit from hackers. Cybercriminals will continue to target the vulnerable, andeducational institutions often lack the resources to defend their endpoints. Most school systems are a lightly secure network of endpoints that contain personally identifiable information on students, parents and staff. Cybercriminals who target data often focus on those who are data rich, making education institutions a big target in 2018 due to their lack of proper security measures. The increased use of IoT in the healthcare industry will also create data security concerns in 2018. Greater technological advancements mean better patient care, but the more we rely on it the more we fear the loss of personal health data. In the era of connected devices, the healthcare industry needs to make patient security a top priority by increasing security protocols. To combat this, hospitals should look to third-party security providers to encrypt these devices.
From a technique perspective, more malware families will launch malware in using worms in 2018. With the widespread effectiveness of WannaCry and Trickbot, criminals see this method work much faster to compromise networks than most others. If these criminals could adjust their methods to make less noise — the biggest downfall of this approach — then this method could begin to amass even more victims in a quicker time-frame in the new year.
Lastly, cyber-criminals will specifically target security software, looking for ways to exploit it in 2018. Attackers are looking to target our base of trusted solutions in order to better control and manipulate users. They can simply subvert the endpoint agent or redirect cloud traffic. By utilizing this tactic more, criminals are able to erode the public’s perception of the safety of security software, particularly AV software.
JAN 2, 2018 @ 08:15 AM 1,109 The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets