Hackers are always looking for new targets and refining the tools they use in order to break through defenses. It is important as a business or individual that you are aware of potential cyber threats so that you can take action to prepare for the unknown.
Here are five cyber threats we think you need to know about in 2018:
The last 12 months have seen a surge in Ransomware attacks with a business being hit every 40 seconds. Targets have included the NHS and big companies such as FedEx.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts either an individual computer or a network of computers. Malicious software breaches defences and locks down your computer files. The hackers will then demand money in exchange for digital keys that will unlock the data for you to regain access.
Should you pay the ransom?
It is easy to fall into this trap and to pay the hackers in the hope of retrieving your personal data and files, especially if it hasn’t been backed up. However, in this situation there is never a guarantee that if you pay the ransom your machine or network will be decrypted. Before taking action, we advise you seek professional advice from IT specialists, or even from law enforcement.
Are big companies affected?
In 2018 a big target for these kind of hackers will be businesses using cloud computing that hold huge amounts of data for companies. Some of the biggest cloud operators such as Amazon and Google have already started taking steps to increase digital security to defend themselves against these attacks.
As hackers always adjust their methods, it’s essential to ensure you have strict, up-to-date security measures in place, such as firewalls and anti-virus protection.
The IoT (Internet of Things)
The IoT is a network that connects a whole host of devices including, mobile devices, home appliances and vehicles, enabling them to exchange data using embedded sensors.
Businesses are beginning to adopt IoT devices without realising that these devices can be vulnerable to attacks. It is important to select devices carefully and understand the security risks.
If one IoT device on the network becomes compromised, it opens the door for cybercriminals to gain access to the entire network.
Recently hackers have been targeting holders of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. However, it is not the actual theft of cryptocurrency that you need to worry about, it’s the theft of computer processing power that has become the issue.
To be able to take part in mining cryptocurrencies it requires a vast amount of computing capacity and this has encouraged hackers to breach millions of networks to use their power to carry out mining work.
As mining cryptocurrencies continues to be a lucrative activity, the attraction to hack more computer networks will also grow. Hackers have already started to hack into public Wi-Fi of large companies such as Starbucks, and it’s becoming increasingly worrying that they will attempt to target airports and other locations where damage could cause substantial disruption.
Artificial Intelligence Hacks
There were a lot of advances when it came to AI (Artificial Intelligence) in 2017 and the development of intelligent computer systems is expected to continue throughout this year. This has opened up a new avenue for cyber attacks that hackers are taking full advantage of.
Its appealing to hackers as AI can be used to help design malware that can trick people into installing malware. Therefore, 2018 could see a rise in this style of phishing attacks.