Top Three Cybersecurity Threats Your Business Needs to Watch for in 2018
If we were to ask a room full of IT gurus who was totally prepared to fight cybercrime in 2018, we wouldn’t expect many hands to go up—and that’s a problem. Depending on the role an IT point person plays in a company, the responsibility to protect the network and sensitive data becomes imperative, especially in a world that continues to yield ever-evolving cyber-threats.
Before we get into the cybersecurity trends that will ultimately shape 2018, let’s begin by stating there is no such thing as 100-percent security, given the current threat landscape. Here are some eye-opening statistics:
- Last spring’s infamous WannaCry ransomware had a global cost of some $8 billion while Petya cost $850 million.
- Spam email volume increased four times in 2016 and continues to grow.
- According to CSO, the cost of cybercrime across the globe was $3 trillion a year ago and is expected to exceed $6 trillion annually by 2021.
- Cybercrime will triple the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs, reaching 3.5 million by 2021.
Here’s what’s important to take away from this: 2018 is a critical year when it comes to reinforcing cybersecurity at all levels of an organization—right up to–and including–the CEO and executive board.
Taking into consideration what occurred in the somewhat turbulent year of 2017 – the Equifax breach, Russian manipulation of social media (and, depending on who you believe, our political systems), state-sponsored attacks, the aforementioned WannaCry and more phishing scams than we can even tally – many in the computer science world aren’t looking forward to 2018. From our viewpoint, there’s every possibility that breaches will be grander, hackers will grow wiser and security teams and budgets will have a difficult time keeping pace.
We’ve compiled a list of what we expect to be the top cyber-threats to watch for in 2018:
Additional Massive Data Breaches
Hackers are always thinking big when it comes to targets, and 2018 should be no different. The cyberattack on the aforementioned Equifax credit reporting agency in 2017, which resulted in the theft of Social Security numbers, birth dates and other data on almost half of the U.S. population, was a vivid reminder that hackers represent a modern-day threat that’s here to stay. As we move into 2018, companies that possess a wealth of sensitive information will need to hunker down and implement a strong line of defense against security breaches. Many IT professionals also predict that data brokers—those who hold information on things like people’s personal web browsing habits—will be especially popular targets.
Ransomware in the Cloud
With the last 12 months seeing a proverbial plague of ransomware attacks—with targets including San Francisco’s light-rail network, Britain’s National Health Service and major companies like FedEx—we can conclude that this form of cybercrime will continue to be popular amongst criminal hackers, who often demand payment in hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies. One predicted major target in 2018 will be cloud computing businesses, which can house extensive data for companies or store consumer data for things like email and photo libraries. Bigwigs in the cloud operating business—Google, Amazon, IBM, etc.—have already begun strengthening their efforts, bringing in the brightest minds in digital security to assist, but smaller organizations and operations are likely to be much more vulnerable.
The Weaponization of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
An Artificial Intelligence (or AI)-driven “arms race” is expected to emerge in 2018. Professional are predicting that hackers will adopt the same technology to strike back against those who have been using machine-learning and AI technologies to better anticipate attacks. It is likely that hackers will take advantage of such tactics moving into 2018 to drive more phishing attacks, while also using AI to help design malware that’s even more effective at fooling security programs.
How TechPulse is Fighting the Good Cybersecurity Fight
With all these cyber-threats looming right around the corner, TechPulse helps our clients take advantage of the best available technology to streamline their operations, communicate effectively and, above all, protect their data. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable technicians are always on call to analyze client needs and design IT strategies that are reliable, efficient and within the budget required to ensure the success of your business.
Because hackers are constantly finding new targets and redefining the tools they utilize to break down cyberdefenses, professionals such as our team here at TechPulse remain at the forefront of cybersecurity trends to keep our clients safe.