​A look at 2017’s security predictions

By Dan Slattery, Senior Information Security Analyst at Webroot

It’s no secret that the threat of cyber-crime in Australia is on the rise. Last year, the number of cyber-threats more than doubled. 2016 has seen a similar trend, with the tactics employed by cyber-criminals becoming increasingly sophisticated.

The dynamic nature of cyber-related threats only makes it more difficult to keep abreast of the issues. The best way for users and enterprises to stay protected from cyber criminals is to have a thorough understanding of the threats and techniques they employ to carry out their attacks.

Here we examine our top cyber security predictions for 2017:

  • An increase in DDoS attacks
  • The rise of IoT related attacks
  • Ransomware is not going away

Businesses that rely on the internet for the majority of their trade should especially look out for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in 2017.

Malware as a Service is on the rise, and with a reasonably low barrier to entry, criminals can quickly implement a fresh variant of Ransomware, or direct DDoS attack at a website or service. DDoS attacks can neuter a website for hours, or even days in some instances, and any cybercriminal can easily obtain access to networks of thousands of infected machines, heavily compromising a website’s server. Typically, most of the machines that are part of a DDoS attack are either older computers with more unpatched vulnerabilities, or computers without sufficient antivirus software.

The fact that more and more of our devices are becoming internet enabled and accessible means we are opening ourselves to further risk. This year saw a large scale attack on internet enabled home security cameras because the manufacturers did not place enough effort into the security aspect of the device. Every time a webcam, fridge, lightbulb or coffee machine is connected to the internet, we are putting our private data at potential risk. It's critical that enterprises and consumers alike are aware of this to ensure that these access points are secure.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Since ransomware is so profitable for the attackers, the threat will only continue to evolve and grow. In fact, 390,000 new malware variants are released each day.

It’s going to take major action and co-operation between law enforcement agencies and businesses alike to shut it down. A staggering 76% of IT decision makers across 10 countries reported ransomware breaches in 2015. Here’s a helpful guide to safeguarding yourself against the threat.

As we approach the New Year, it’s a great time for both businesses and individuals to consider how cyber-protected they are. Is it time you upgraded your protection? To determine the best approach, a good place to start is seeking advice from reputable security experts and/or vendors who can advise on the best next steps for any business

Tags hackingcyber criminalsWebrootcyber threatsDDoS attacksIoT threats loom2017 trends2017 predictions

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