Cybersecurity experts were kept busy throughout 2017 with new kinds of malware and new methods adopted by the hackers coming to the fore.
What was once perceived to be limited to PCs and large networked systems slowly spread to mobile devices. This may set the trend for the next year as well.
Here are our top ten cyber security predictions that could keep the experts busy through the calendar year 2018.
1.Malware threat will continue.
If you thought it can’t get worse than this, you may be wrong. The cyber security threat from malicious programs planted within vulnerable networks and devices might prove to be even more menacing, with hackers also employing emerging modern technology like artificial intelligence to mount cyber attacks with more precision.
2.Cryptocurrency owners beware.
With the quantum leap in the value of cryptocurrencies, professional hackers will want to steal Bitcoins and other digital currencies using malware especially developed for the purpose. They may also plant hidden mining tools to steal these currencies.
This has already come to pass this year, and the trend is expected to continue and grow in 2018.
3.Businesses could face more ransomware threats.
Though cybersecurity experts have continued to identify various ransomware types or families and issue warnings to organizations in advance, experts feel more families could crop up. Businesses and organizations running on networks will continue to face threats from hackers who will steal data and demand a ransom to release sensitive information.
Already, paid malware is made readily available on the dark web, and it may only get worse in 2018.
4.GDPR becomes effective from May 2018.
Now this is not exactly a threat directly from hackers, but with Europe implementing the new data protection regulations, cyber security experts will be under pressure to ensure that the data they are in possession of is kept safe from cyber attacks. Failing to do so could lead to heavy penalties.
There are known sources that pose a cyber security threat backed by rogue states. North Korea tops the list with history, and 2017 has also indicated Russia and China are capable of deploying APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups to steal data from rival governments. The general targets are governments and organizations in the West.
6.Cloud storage can also render cyber security threat.
With more and more organizations shifting their key information and data to the cloud, the hackers posing cyber security threats will spare no effort at penetrating cloud platforms to mount their attacks. The firms that are engaged in developing technologies to counter these threats will have to step up their efforts in 2018.
7.IoT devices will be easy targets.
There has been a growing perception among cybersecurity experts that with the increased population of devices running on Internet of Things devices, it may prove to be easy prey for hackers to attack.
The manufacturers of these devices are diverse and may not follow the same strict standards in terms of security on these devices. Devices like home speakers can possess data of interest to cyber criminals.
8.Mobile malware on the prowl.
Mobile phones, particularly those running on Apple’s iOS, have been found to be vulnerable to a malicious program named Pegasus. There’s an equivalent one for Android devices named Chrysaor.
These may become more threatening in 2018 in the hands of APT groups which can then launch cyber attacks.
The potential cyber security threat from these hacking campaigns is that it is not easy for the users of these devices to know that their mobile phone is under attack.
The only hope is that the coming year sees online security firms and tech leaders like Google work together to develop ways to detect, isolate and eliminate any kind of cyber security threat.
9.Attacks through the supply chain route.
This is yet another major cyber security threat staring at many large business verticals like banks and other vital institutions. The hackers are fully conscious of the fact that the main organizations’ networks are well protected with firewalls, but all these businesses rely on outsourced software, and usually these are easier for hackers to compromise.
10.Hacking of routers and modems.
Though the cyber security threat to internet users via routers and modems has been in the public domain for some time, from the point of view of what to expect in 2018, this continues to be a cause for concern and may only increase in intensity.
It has to be added here that top cybersecurity firms and labs will also work overtime to educate the public at large, as well as those responsible for the networks and systems, on the remedies to mitigate these cyber attacks and isolate the malware.