Watch Out! The Biggest Cyber Threats of 2016 Coming
Since the era of cyber has started, the fear of new insecurity forms has risen. Do you feel secure enough?
Back in 2014 more than one billion personal records were accessed by the hackers and there was no sign of let-up in 2015. Following that, cyber security, telecommunications and IT consulting experts interviewed by an American television channel CNBC recognize and share the major cyber threats to be aware of in these years.
Believe us, there will be no significant relief yet more anxiety and diligent lookup for advanced protection measures. The smartest prepare in advance, and so we do, right?
#1 Cloud Computing
Lead by major discussions and controversial opinions on doubtful cloud security levels, authoritative experts have finally reached a consensus – cloud computing will be the biggest and most attractive target for cyber space intruders.
Having in mind cloud flexibility and reasoned affordability there’s no surprise why there’s such a huge transition to this platform. Vast opportunities of global business growth and reduced spending on technology infrastructure encourage both – individuals and businesses to optimize the performance by moving the most sensitive data, applications and software to the next target of biggest cyber-attacks.
Since data stored on the cloud does not use any physical space it makes it easier for the hackers to carry out spiteful attacks without one major obstacle of overcoming your physical security measures.
Security tips: be serious about your passwords, avoid storing sensitive data and if you still do, be sure it is encrypted with such software as SSL certificate. Also, you may use an already encrypted cloud service, such as Spideroak or Wuala.
Compared to usual information breaches, infrastructure attacks should be taken much more seriously.
The next cyber threat to watch out this year is targeted to utilities, telecommunication and logistic infrastructure owners.
The scale of these cyber-attack consequences is enormous. Imagine a nuclear power infrastructure being hacked and exploded – it would affect not our finances first, but our health and the overall quality of living.
Security tips: there’s not much you may do, but the infrastructure owner should first implement latest sensors inside the facility, better control processes and pay much more sensitivity to any abnormalities.
#3 Mobile Devices
Even though company owners take their business security seriously, their employees frequently don’t. Do you practice BYOD as well?
BYOD refers to bring your own device policy that is commonly practiced in the business world. If you are permitting your employees to bring their own mobile devices to access company information or you are the one that is performing it – make sure your security measures are fully implemented.
The survey shows that around 95% of employees use their devices at work which causes a great risk and constructs an easy target to company data breaches.
Security tips: data encryption through SSL certificate or other encryption software, remote access restriction to sensitive company data by device-specific identifiers such as MAC address, identity access management (IAM) solution implementation to empower two-factor authentification.
#4 Automobile Hacking
Imagine driving through the highway and suddenly losing your car brakes or looking through your window and seeing your car getting away with no one actually driving. What have just happened?
It seems that automobile hacking is becoming a trend and a huge danger for car owners. If specialist predictions will come true, there may be much more hard-solving thefts and much worse – car crashes, leading to serious injuries.
The only question is – how much are you still willing to connect your car to the Internet to use, for example, GPS?
Because in this hacking scenario, precisely this connection lets the perpetrator connect to your car through a cellular network and get a control of its main functions. Don’t let that happen!
Security tips: ask about wireless automobile systems and their operation details, ask about remote shutdown in case your car gets stolen, don’t leave car system passwords inside your automobile, be cautious about after-market devices.
#5 EMV Chip Cards
EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa compliant) chip cards are becoming a considerable trend on a global scale. First crafted to reduce certain types of fraud, the cards now seem to be at a great risk of cyber-attacks.
Already seen tendency on hacking EMV chip card data is a fraudulent usage of so called card-not-present (CNP) technology. As CNP allows payment transactions without a physically presented card, merchants face issues on verifying its actual cardholder. As a result a major route for credit card fraud is being generated.
Security tips: don’t forget EMV add-ons and consider upgrades as following – encryption, tokenization, contactless payments.
#6 Phishing Attacks
Already widespread, yet implemented through the new forms and practices, phishing attacks will remain to be on a cybercrime top list.
The latest statistics of Google’s Safe Browsing service shows that between 2014 and 2015, phishing sites have increased from 24,865 to 33,571. As the tendency is clear, 2016 will not let us down unfortunately.
So be picky on what you open and believe. If someone asks to verify your personal details through an email – make sure you know who is behind the sender’s name.
Security tips: guard against spam by installing such software as SpamExperts, don’t click on links or download files from unknown senders, never email your financial/personal information, protect your computer with a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
It might seem there’s no need to talk about malware anymore as it’s been discussed and analyzed for a while already. However, it is actually still a hot topic, because new highly creative and never imagined ways to attack you are being invented.
Specialists send a reasoned warning message of being aware that malware growth is not going to stop. So arm yourself with great patience and equip your data with the most advanced anti-virus software solutions.
Security tips: install anti-virus software and always keep it updated, run regular data scans, keep your OS updated, secure your network by using WPA or WPA2 encryption, backup and encrypt your files.
Using your computer smoothly for years and suddenly losing the access to it is a simplest explanation of CryptoWall ransomware concept.
The thing is our creative cybercriminals are now up to benefit not from your data, but straight from your pocket.
When your computer is infected with a CryptoWall ransomware, your access to it may be completely blocked. What the hacker will do next is to claim for a ransom in order to give you back the access as an exchange.
Security tips: don’t want to spend additionally? We thought so! First, think of moving your data to Dropbox or Flickr to have the access to your files at all times or install software as SpyHunter now.
#9 Medical Devices
Unfortunately, it seems there’s no safe space around anymore – even the hospitals and their medical devices are vulnerable to hackers.
Back in August it was revealed that Hospira’s Symbiq infusion pump that administers medication for a patient, is surprisingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. For a clearer view, the hacker may get an administrative privilege to control and perform unanticipated medical operations without your knowledge.
Security tips: there’s much more your hospital may do than you, make sure the medical devices the hospital is using are tested and encrypted – simply ask your health consultant.
#10 State-Sponsored Hacking
Not only individuals or business are at a great cyber target – we have already had clear examples of intruding the cyber security on a national level as well. Worse luck is that the state-sponsored hacking is yet to grow.
Now go and open any American news source – you should probably find at least one story related to China conducting cyber exploitations, usually targeted to United States. Starting from intellectual property hacking and ending to major citizen personal information breaches, state-sponsored attacks cause huge government spending on issue resolution and American people cyber safety.
Security tips: your state will make sure that other government entities don’t hack you, however, the better is you also protect yourself – encrypt your data, install advanced anti-virus and anti-spyware software, keep your OS updated at all time.
It’s understandable that all of these risks may seem irrelevant. However, this attitude lasts until it affects you or your closest ones. So the greatest you might do now is to be aware and prepared in advance.
Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and it boils down to this – the more systems we secure, the more secure we all are. Make sure that your vehicles, devices and data are secured thoughtfully, because you surely don’t want to become the next victim, do you?
Have you ever been attacked? What did you do? Which security measures you recommend? Share your experience in the comments below!
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