We have all heard about the recent cyberattacks on Equifax, Bitcoin, Chipotle and many more. And, yet, it is predicted that cyberattacks will continue to rise, despite the fact that this year, we have already spent $93 BILLION globally on cyber and information security.
It makes us wonder if anything is safe anymore, especially if we are using the internet more and more to store our personal information.
Let’s look at where security breaches and hacks are actually occurring so that we know what to worry about and what not to worry about.
The Biggest Cybersecurity Trends For Today
Cybersecurity trends are always changing at a very fast rate, and unfortunately, this has only opened the door to new opportunities for criminals and cyber hackers.
What does the future hold for us? The best way to figure this out is to take a look at some of the biggest cybersecurity trends today in order to try and understand their implications for the future.
Ransomware Is A Growing Threat To Cloud Based Data
Even though storing data on the cloud may come with a number of important benefits, it’s also a prime target for cybercriminals. One such method cybercriminals will use to hack into cloud-based data is ransomware, in which they target a certain amount of data and then hold it for ransom. In 2017, this is exactly what happened to higher profile victims such as Meltdown and Petya.
As ransomware continues to become a larger threat, bigger companies in the cloud market such as AWS and Google are taking steps to make it as difficult as possible for cybercriminals to be successful, but smaller victims end up having to pay their customers for any data breaches.
Performing regular backups and updating security patches are the best ways to protect cloud based data against ransomware attacks. If only organizations and companies would take these sorts of steps regularly, it would go a long way to reducing the frequency of ransomware.
Internet of Things (IoT) Continues To Have Low Security
Applications and social media allow you to login by one login (such as FB or Gmail). Therefore all your information, banking, credit cards and personal information can be stolen with just that one login.
As we roll out with more internet-connected devices, IoT remains a significant vulnerability when it comes to cybersecurity. Too often, our devices that are connected to the internet lack simple security features, or otherwise are not configured properly.
This is what enables bot nets to conduct volumetric attacks to launch brute force attacks, or to exfiltrate unauthorized data.
It is predicted that soon cyberattacks on IoT will begin to be sold to the highest bidder. The hackers will no longer be doing hacks on mobile devices just to prove that they can; they will soon began to sell the information they are stealing.
Financial Sectors and Websites Are A Huge Weak Point
Obviously, hackers want to gain access and control the financial sectors. During 2017, attacks on financial institutions took $1.17 billion in net worth. It is predicted that this trend will continue to go up, despite the increased securities put in place to prevent hacking of banks, investors and other financial institutions.
Cryptocurrency Is Always Fair Game
Although the Bitcoin hackers of 2017 raised awareness of how quickly a hacker can take over cryptocurrency, security around cryptocurrency still remains very relaxed.
Currently, the trend is for hackers to attack for “altcoins,” (types of cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin) or to attack utility services for the sake of getting extra CPU power so they can exponentially continue to grow their cryptowealth.
The reason hackers will commonly target altcoins is because many such coins will have significantly easier cryptographic algorithms. There’s simply a higher chance of hackers succeeding with cryptocurrencies in contrast to government-issued currencies.
Artificial Intelligence Is Now Playing A Major Role For Both Sides
Cybersecurity is just one of many applications impacted by artificial intelligence.
A.I. can learn from past events to predict vulnerabilities and anomalies inside of a software system. It’s for this reason that 9 out of every 10 cybersecurity professionals utilize A.I.
But just as A.I. can be used for cybersecurity to identify and protect vulnerabilities, it can be used by cybercriminals to exploit those vulnerabilities as well. We can expect A.I. to continue to be extensively utilized by both cybercriminals and cybersecurity professionals heading into the future as well.
Zero Trust Security Is Moving Into The Mainstream
Zero trust security is the concept that companies and organizations should verify absolutely everything trying to connect to the system before being granted access.
In other words, it truly does mean trust absolutely no one, and the more sophisticated cybercriminals are becoming, the more organizations are being forced to turn to the zero trust security model by only granting users access to systems once absolute trust has been established.
This means that companies will be applying far more rigorous authentication measures and further requiring users to verify themselves through several layers of credentials. It’s also likely that companies will be turning to managed security providers as well to effectively augment their online security.
What Are Some Cyber Security Tips You Can Follow?
What can you do to prevent yourself or your company from falling victim to a cybersecurity breach and all the headaches, struggles and problems that will be associated with it?
- Get faster internet speed. Hackers are able to hack because they were faster. They got into your computer or the password screen between the last letter of your password and when you hit enter. This is where they are getting information from. Along these lines, artificial intelligence or machine learning should also be able to out pace the hackers and prevent cyberattacks in the future. In the meantime, getting faster internet will help prevent the attackers from getting in.
- Create levels and zones of security within a site or app. Just like normal ‘security,’ you need to be aware of where attacks can come from and how one thing can lead to something else being breached. You need to make sure that you are zoning areas off and creating firewalls that do not allow all information to be breached at the same time.
- Comply with GDPR requirements. GDPR has set up guidelines and requirements of disclosure for any and all stored information. This stored information is called cookies and allows for faster loading speeds, since the website or app does not require you to input information each time you access it. However, more than a disclosure for stored info, you need to make sure that you ARE properly storing and saving confidential and sensitive information. If it is found that your site or app does not protect your users, there will be heavy fines leveled against you.
For reference, the GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It was implemented by the members of the European Union (EU) on May 25th of 2018, and is designed to give citizens of the EU greater control over their personal data. The GDPR redefines what personal data is, and what it isn’t, and sets strict rules in place for how businesses are able to gather data from customers (for example, the regulation requires all businesses to obtain explicit consent from EU customers before gathering any data from them).
- Use artificial intelligence. Being able to work a computer against a human to prevent cyberattacks is one of the best uses of artificial intelligence. A computer can create, change and adapt faster than the incoming danger of a hacker. As such, it is a good idea to create more secure internet and passwords; just let the computer do it for you.
- Be up front about security breaches. Data breaches can happen fairly often. The biggest concern is whether confidential information was breached and used. If this happens, the people whose information was taken need to immediately be made aware of the situation and what steps the company is doing to fix the problem and get the information off the web again.
- Grow your skills and awareness in cybersecurity. There is currently a shortage of skilled people who can take on these attacks. Even if you do not chose to make a career out of preventing cyberattacks, it is always a good idea to learn more how serious a cyberattack can be. Finding books at the library, taking courses or talking to people who design and build apps and websites can help you know what to be on the look out for.
- Watch Out For Security Leaks On IoT. Make sure your apps and patches are up to date and are not allowing securities breaches. Try not to store card or personal information within your apps or websites. Do not share your mobile devices with others, unless it is someone who already has your banking information (like a spouse). Change your passwords frequently, and do NOT use the same password over multiple logins.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider to make sure that you, your company and your clients are well protected. It is best to always be cautious, remembering that sometimes cyberattacks can be prevented by paying attention to changes or problems early on.