Cybersecurity threats have existed since the beginning of the internet. Over the years, security has become increasingly more sophisticated. The thing is, so, too, have cybercriminals.
In just the first six months of 2019, data breaches exposed over 4.1 billion records. Hackers look for holes in security to take advantage of those who don’t pay close attention to their cybersecurity. They target small businesses and individuals just as much (if not more) than large corporations. Staying on top of your security is a must. Here are seven threats to be aware of this year.
Phishing emails used to be very easy to recognize. Today, however, this isn’t the case. They’re getting much more sophisticated. While network security is a must-have to protect your business, it’s also important that you and your employees be able to recognize the different types of phishing attacks. Cybercriminals can even make malicious emails that look like they’ve been sent from a co-worker, friend, or trusted company.
Ransomware, which is malware that steals your data and holds it for ransom, has been around for a while. Like phishing attacks, this threat has evolved over the years. Today, it typically involves stealing data and requesting cryptocurrency to decrypt it. Cybercriminals are becoming pickier, and are more carefully picking their targets to maximize their profits.
Vulnerabilities in the Cloud
Cloud computing has grown substantially in popularity. Businesses using cloud-based applications and storing sensitive information in the cloud. It’s affordable, scalable, and keeps an extra copy of your data in case something happens to your computers at work.
While there are many benefits to the cloud, greater use poses a greater security threat. Some of the top cloud security threats include:
Deepfake is a relatively new threat. The term itself was coined in 2017 by Reddit users. It refers to fake video or audio recordings that involve swapping a face or altering the audio track. While some users make silly videos this way, cybercriminals can use deepfake for illicit purposes such as spreading misinformation, impersonating CEOs, stealing money, and more. It’s a major threat that businesses of all sizes should be aware of.
Attacks on IoT
It’s not just computers that are connected to the internet. The internet of things (IoT) refers to all of the other devices that connect to the online world, such as tablets, smartphones, webcams, security cameras, household appliances, smartwatches, medical devices, and more. While internet-connected devices are incredibly helpful, they’re also a serious security risk. The more devices that are connected, the greater the risk becomes. By overtaking IoT devices, hackers have the ability to overload networks and cause serious harm.
Hackers aren’t just using ransomware to get cryptocurrency. They’re also using computers that don’t belong to them without the knowledge of the computers’ owners. Cryptojacking is the act of hijacking a home or business computer and using it to mine for cryptocurrency. Mining requires a significant amount of processing power. As a result, computer performance suffers. For businesses, this could result in expensive downtime as the IT department tries to figure out the source of the problem.
Hacking Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are still in the early stages, but some businesses are already using them to perform digital asset exchanges. These contracts work by using a self-executing code. Since they’re still so new, bugs are being found. Technologists are still learning how to design them. It’s these very vulnerabilities that make smart contracts an ideal target for cybercriminals as newer technology is often much easier to hack than technology that’s been around for a while.
We live in a connected world. Just about everything is done online these days. With so much information out there, there are endless opportunities for cybercriminals. Understanding the potential threats that you face and what you can do to reduce your risk is vital for protecting yourself, your business, and your customers.