With cyber crime rising on an exponential basis, security analysts believe that 2016 will be one of the most active years in terms of data breaches, network intrusions and malicious hacks. The world of cyber crime tends to follow certain trends; the following being most important for 2016.
A few years ago, computer users were introduced to scareware attacks; these are malicious files delivered by means of virus or Trojan infections that display scary messages about systems being compromised. Scareware attacks tricked users into purchasing fake virus scans with their credit cards. Eventually, scareware became ransomware, a dangerous attack that actually encrypts data, thereby holding it hostage until the user agrees to pay a ransom fee. Protection against ransomware attacks require antivirus shields and comprehensive data backup routines.
Business owners are often very eager to implement cloud computing solutions in their companies; however, rushing into such decisions could bring about certain risks in terms of security. While most cloud service providers offer various levels of security, it is up to each company to adjust settings accordingly so that employees can handle work data in a safe manner. One major security concern related to cloud services is the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the workplace. BYOD can be attractive to both employers and staff members, but this is a policy that must be thoroughly vetted by IT security before it is implemented.
Social Engineering Attacks
In the early days of network intrusions, hackers took pride on their social engineering skills more than on their technical know-how. The popularity of television shows such as Mr. Robot has sparked interest into social engineering attacks, which often employ artifice and deception to steal user credentials such as username and password combinations. For this reason, security analysts believe that implementing biometric measures is a very good idea for business owners in 2016.
In times of constant Internet connectivity and automatic updates, it may be hard to believe that backdoor exploits and software flaws are still major issues in terms of cyber crime. One of the problems in this regard is that companies that loosely implement free, open source solutions fail to implement adequate security policies. Even those that employ a full-time IT staff may still have vulnerabilities in their network, according to an Ottawa IT support expert. Businesses everywhere should have a thorough security assessment performed by professionals to expose and deal with any hidden security weaknesses.
The four cyber security trends above are only the beginning of what lies ahead for 2016. It is important for business owners and IT departments to stay up-to-date on these matters.