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2018: New year, new cyber threats

New years resolution



The most popular word in the world right now, in all its forms, is “new.” New Year, new resolutions, new exercise regiment, new weight, new goals, new toys…you get the picture. 2018 brings with it the excitement of new beginnings, but with that also comes the dread of new threats. Some of the most dangerous threats our world will face this year will be cyber threats.

Cybercrime in 2017 brought heartache to many large corporations and their employees. You’ll recall the Equifax data breach, and perhaps the names of attacks such as WannaCry, NotPetya and Locky. These were just the precursor of what threats and attacks we can expect to face in 2018.

What are some of these new threats? According to a recent article by Martin Giles in the MIT Technology Review, there are six that we really need to be worried about:

  1. Huge data breaches – There are bound to be more breaches like that of Equifax. This will lead to the theft of Social Security numbers, birth dates and other confidential information. Watch your web browsing habits.
  2. Ransomware in the cloud – Ransomware attacks are not a new threat, but it is being used in new ways. To protect your information and your money, be careful of what you put in the cloud, and how you put it there. Cloud computing businesses need to be on high alert.
  3. AI weaponization – This year is going to see the emergence of an AI arms race. AI can trick humans into making very costly security mistakes. AI hacking will become less and less easy to detect.
  4. Cyber-physical attacks – Hacks are targeting electrical grids, transportation systems and other critical infrastructure. This year we could see these attacks move to planes, trains, ships and other modes of transportation.
  5. Mining cryptocurrencies – With the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, this is sure to cause security issues. Your digital currencies will be under attack. Guard them close.
  6. Election hacking – There is evidence that hacking has taken place in some recent elections, and we can plan on seeing more of this in the future. World governments are working to plug these vulnerabilities.

2018 will present new threats to you and your place of employment. It’s extremely difficult to predict when and where a cyber attack will happen. So, you had better prepare for the worst now.

Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, recently wrote an article for Forbes discussing future cyberthreats and how to prevent them. Kleczynski gives very sound advice on how to minimize attack impact.

“First, we have to start taking a hard look as an industry and finally work toward addressing the IT security skills shortage,” said Kleczynski. “We do not have enough professionals to combat the rising cyber risks. Colleges needs to offer more training courses that encourage men and women to expand and refine their security knowledge.”

Businesses must prioritize security education in 2018 if they want to keep their information safe. It’s more than worth it to train your employees in the ways of cybersecurity. We at Ascend would love to help. Let’s take down these new threats and fight cybercrime together.

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