Cyber security risks are inevitable in todays times. Information these days is not only readily available, but it’s also easily accessible through various devices and platforms such as mobile applications or web portals. This has paved the way for exponential growth in Information Technology users all over the world in the past few decades. Data on these different devices and portals are interdependent and what affects one will end up affecting the other creating a need for cyber security.
The ease and reach of information bring with it a risk of breach in privacy with far-reaching and serious impacts on businesses and individual users. Cyber risks are a growing liability for businesses since these attacks can come from anywhere in the world and are becoming progressively sophisticated and intrusive. Several Cyber Security attacks such as data breaches and privacy leaks have occurred in the recent past making risk management a priority.
Although risk cannot be eliminated completely, it can be managed and controlled with the right prevention measures and controls. Strategic planning of Cyber Security Risk is imperative for businesses to control costs and grow customer confidence. No user is immune to cyber risks; hence, it is important to understand emerging risks that users are exposed to.
Emerging Cyber Security risks for 2019 you should take seriously:
1. Malware Attacks: Malware gained the “file-less” nickname because it does not exist as files within the hard drive. Attackers program file-less malware to occupy the RAM. Threat analysts have a hard time finding traces of these kinds of malware since it does not leave crumbs on the drive. File-less malware turns visible only when programmers order it to initiate the attack.
Additionally, cybercriminals often deploy file-less malware against banks by inserting them into ATMs, enabling hackers to gain control of cash machines. Other than that, hackers can use file-less malware in payload delivery. File-less malware can thereby unload payoff to the system with the computer owner totally unaware of what’s happening.
2. Hacking: Hacking has been a concern for a while now and is generally caused by indirectly sharing credentials and access to passwords. Hackers identify credentials and passwords by breaking into algorithms in order to gain access to systems. Hacking exposes computers to fraudulent acts such as privacy invasion, financial theft, and system breakdowns.
3. Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is making physical devices at homes and businesses increasingly smart. These devices employ sensors to gain information about the temperature, use apps to manage lights and attach energy-efficient cameras to monitor security. Although the idea of remote monitoring and controlling is exciting, the firmware of these smart devices is riddled with vulnerabilities. Hackers take advantage of these vulnerabilities and are able to control and manipulate these smart devices. Imagine hackers switching lights off at businesses, disconnecting power from flowing through smart plugs, or simply watching you from your smart surveillance system.
4. People: Several data breaches happen due to human error. One very common human error is when users click on phishing emails. Phishing emails often carry a payload like ransomware or a trojan horse virus which wreaks havoc on the system, as soon as the email is opened.
5. Data Breach: In the technical era, cloud applications are more popular than ever. Many companies assume Salesforce and AWS are responsible for securing their data, but everything in the transfer is out of their control. They can prevent their databases from being breached, but large chunks of data could still be stolen by using cloud apps on public Wi-Fi networks or with a compromised device.
6. Insecure Application User Interface (API): Third parties like vendors and contractors pose a huge risk to corporations, most of whom have no security systems or professional teams in place to manage these third-party employees.
As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated and cybersecurity threats continue to rise, organizations are becoming more and more aware of the risk these third parties pose. For instance, several years ago, Wendy’s fell victim to a data breach that affected at least 1,000 of the fast-food chain locations and was caused by a third-party vendor that had been hacked.
7. Password: Generally, companies use multi-factor authentication software to ensure their data is safe. Passwords alone may still exist for things like social media sites and mobile apps, however, many of those are now offering two-factor authentication as an additional feature in their privacy settings.
8. Technology: Technology has enabled us to modernize and computerize critical infrastructure, but it also brings several risks with it. The ongoing threat of hacks targeting electrical grids, transportation systems, water treatment facilities, etc., represents major vulnerability going forward. According to a recent report in The New York Times, even America’s multibillion-dollar military systems are at risk of high-tech foul play.
9. Loss of Data: Loss of data can be of many different types like Software attacks, theft of intellectual property, identity theft, theft of equipment or information, sabotage, and data extortion. Therefore, proper systems need to be in place in order to store valuable data.
10. Employing Bring your own device (BYOD): Software isn’t perfect. Every program that is installed harbours security holes called vulnerabilities that hackers and cybercriminals can exploit.
When cybercriminals identify these vulnerabilities and exploit them before the software developers can fix it, it’s called a zero-day threat. Once the hackers get the ball rolling and use a program’s vulnerability to deliver ransomware or inject malicious code that’s called a zero-day exploit.
The above are emerging 2019 cyber security risks that users should be aware of in order to equip themselves against cyber threats. Partnering with a professional cyber security firm is crucial for businesses. CyberChasse is a one-stop shop for all your cybersecurity needs. Our experienced consultants will help you make an uninterrupted and seamless transition into safe computing with unmatched service and solutions to your IT infrastructure.
If a career in cybersecurity excites you, Cyber Chasse also provides world-class training to new and experienced recruits that need to update their skills. For more information on our training programs please visit our training page.