Security Threats and Trends to Look Out for in 2018

Posted by Arup Das on January 17, 2018

Online Security has been an in issue in 2017. Cybercriminals were able to break into sophisticated infrastructures and steal sensitive information like full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses. “The steady stream of malware attacks we saw this year will only increase in frequency and as a result, we’ll start to see significantly more financial and development resources allocated for security.” The attacks in 2017 alone have given us insight on what to expect in the upcoming 2018. Here are some security threats and trends to look out for in 2018.

Rise of Crypto Currencies and the attacks on them

With the rise of Cryptocurrencies, the number of attacks on them will also increase. Cyber-criminals are starting to aim for ICOs (initial coin offerings) with the goal of taking over capitals to buy coins, resulting in losses of millions of dollars. Cryptojacking, the secret use of a user’s device to mine cryptocurrency, has become even more popular. “We expect to see an increasing amount of malware targeting user credentials of cryptocurrency exchanges and that cyber criminals will turn their attention to vulnerabilities in systems relying on blockchain-based technologies.”

Attacks on Data Aggregators

The cyber-attack on Equifax was one of the most devastating security breaches. Approximately, information of approximately 145 million consumers have been breached including sensitive information such as, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses. Forcepoint Principal Security Expert Carl Leonard believes that we can expect more of these attacks on data aggregators.

Cloud Adoption

With the rise of cloud computing, companies have started to transition from using physical servers to cloud storage to store their data. As the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is enforced in May of 2018, “organizations will start to recognize that their ability to discover and manage sensitive personal information is made much more possible using cloud services, which will drive a major wave of migrations and investments.” Securing cloud storage data and increasing the reliability of cloud storage will be the top priority for enterprises who use cloud storage as their main method of storing and managing data.

The Return of Ransomware

Ransomware has been characterized as one of the most hazardous malware an enterprise can face. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents or limits users from accessing their system unless a ransom is paid. Not only are enterprises affected, but also average home users are affected. “Security professionals presume ransomware as the most vulnerable one, as the older versions when attacked in 2017, impacted terribly all over the globe. Many enterprises were compelled to shut off their systems for days. The home users were also infected.” The danger of ransomware comes from the fact that the algorithm to decode ransomware is sophisticated and well coded. It is expected that in 2018 ransomware will not only come back, but it will be more potent when it does.

The Expansion of the Internet of Things and the Attacks on them

The growth of Internet of Things (IoT) will provide hackers and cyber criminals an easier pathway to homeowners and businesses. Internet of Things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics and software that allow objects to connect and exchange data. “A new threat that will emerge is the disruption of things. As the IoT offers access to both disruptive possibilities and massive amounts of critical data, we will see attacks in this area, and may also see the integration of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack.” A man-in-the-middle-attack is an attack where the attacker secretly relays or alters the communication between two parties. It is also expected that “we will see a breach impact in our physical, personal lives. It might be a medical device or wearable that is hacked and remotely controlled. The impact of such an attack will force government, business, and individuals to take a closer look at the security of our infrastructure.”