The 7 Cyber Risks to Watch Out for in 2018
The New Year has finally arrived. While 2018 could deliver plenty of great opportunities for budding businesses in the digital space, that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks to watch out for too. After all, in this age of digital transformation, we’re all tapping into new technology — and we don’t always have the reassurance of knowing that the tech we use is secure.
2017 was a record year when it came to cyber threats. Not only were there rumors online that the US elections were hacked, but there was also a slew of ransomware issues around the world, prompting disruption across industries. If that wasn’t enough, the Equifax breach last year left us all wondering about the safety of our personal details.
The unfortunate truth is that cybercriminals are growing more sophisticated than ever, with new and improved ways to hack into our systems. While we might not be able to stop the rise of cyber risks in 2018, knowing what to watch out for could be the key to a safer internal communications strategy.
Here are just 7 threats to be aware of.
The Reign of Ransomware
In recent years, ransomware has filled headlines, causing panic among people across the globe. In 2017, ransomware growth rose to 2,500%, harming private companies, hospitals, and individual users alike.
Experts predict that as we move into 2018, the reign of ransomware is far from over. In fact, some companies report that ransomware attacks have now begun to spread into smartphones, Linux, and Mac computers. Be prepared to defend yourself against this kind of malware in the months ahead, with a carefully-structured admin policy, and a plan to avoid any suspicious downloads.
Supply Chain Issues
The often under-monitored, and unmanaged supply chain has long been a security issue for many companies. Organizations often share plenty of sensitive, and valuable information with their suppliers. As soon as that data is shared, direct control is lost, and this leads to an increased risk of compromise around confidentiality, availability, and integrity.
In 2017, we began to see businesses and large manufacturing organizations lose their competitive edge because malware attacks were locking them out of their accounts, and their supply was being affected. Today, regardless of what kind of business you might be involved with, there’s a good chance you have a supply chain to interact with. The key to success in 2018 is making sure that your communication with each part of that chain is secure, visible, and safe.
Conference Call Hacking
Research suggests that 99% of conference callers in today’s business environment admit to hosting meetings without full knowledge of who is in attendance. Though conferencing tools have become a common feature of today’s highly-dispersed workforce, many companies still don’t know how to use them securely. It’s no wonder that the FBI’s conference calls were hacked in 2012.
Now that the New Year has arrived, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than full visibility with your meetings. Conference call services allow brands to launch fully-controlled conversations where they can instantly add or remove participants to a room at any given time. The more control you have over your conference environment, the more secure it becomes.
Malware on the Cloud
“Big data” is a popular buzzword for the business world in 2018, as companies strive to learn more about their industry, and customers. Unfortunately, as computing businesses store more useful information on the cloud, those accounts quickly turn into targets for cybercriminals.
Though big cloud service providers like Amazon, Google, and IBM generally have the resources required to defend their data against infiltration, smaller cloud providers are more likely to be vulnerable to attack. Choosing an end-to-end encryption strategy for cloud storage could be crucial in the year ahead.
IoT and DDoS
2017 saw a spike in interest around the possibilities of the Internet of Things. For instance, IoT has played a significant part in the development, safety, and planning process of creating the “autonomous” car. At the same time, virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana on home devices have helped usher in a new era of voice-controlled technology.
As the world around us grows smarter, hackers are now looking for ways to use IoT internet connections as a doorway to valuable data. In 2016, criminals used a web of connected devices to shut down the internet in some parts of America. In 2018, IoT developers, and the customers who use their products may need to think more carefully about solutions for security.
Phishing, Spam, and Social Issues
Perhaps one of the biggest threats to security in any company has to be the issue of human error. Everything from unpatched software on a computer, to someone accidentally sharing a link to a conference call, can cause breaches in your system that lead to costly disruption.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the difference between a genuine email, and a spam message, employees in your company may start to make mistakes around the links that are safe to click, and the files they should download. 2018 might be the perfect time to retrain your staff and offer some guidance on internet etiquette.
API Security Becomes a New Issue
Finally, in the summer of 2017, Instagram faced a significant breach when hackers stole the phone numbers and email addresses of celebrities thanks to an error in API (application programming interface) security. As API solutions become a more common way for vendors to offer customized software solutions to their consumers, it may be that API-based security emerges as a serious issue for companies in 2018.
Both tech developers and industry leaders alike will need to address the API security in their firm during the years ahead. If you think of an API as an open door, you’ll need to ensure that only the right people (or apps) can get through it.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for cybersecurity, being aware of the trends in the industry could be the best way to prepare yourself for the safety challenges of digital transformation.
We hope you found the promoted post as entertaining and informative as we did!