From worldwide ransomware attacks to data breaches such as that suffered by credit-reporting giant Equifax, 2017 has shown us that cybersecurity threats continue to be a very real danger to businesses of all sizes. With cybercriminals becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their attacks against individuals, businesses, and other institutions, here are what we believe will be the three top cybersecurity threats to watch out for in 2018.
- Exploiting vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things (IoT): From lighting and heating control systems to connected factory sensors and everyday office devices such as printers, more and more “smart” devices are connected to businesses’ Wi-Fi networks. Your PCs and mobile devices may be protected by the best cyber security in the world, but that can be irrelevant if hackers are able to exploit poorly protected peripheral devices as a convenient backdoor into your network.
- State-sponsored attacks and cyber-terrorism: Wherever you stand on the claims that foreign hackers influenced the outcome of last year’s election, the plain fact is that cybersecurity threats funded by nation-state actors are real. Equally worrying is that some terrorist groups may have the funding and technological means to carry out large-scale attacks on government and business targets alike. The purpose of such attacks would be to cause widespread disruption and chaos: don’t make the mistake of thinking that your business is too small or unimportant to be the victim of such an attack.
- Ransomware: 2017 was the year in which ransomware went from a seldom-discussed and unlikely cybersecurity threat to one which had affected hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The WannaCry attack in May infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries, with high-profile government and business victims including FedEx, German rail company Deutsche Bahn, and the British National Health Service. For cyber criminals, ransomware equals easy money, and we predict it will present even more of a threat in 2018.
Ensuring your company keeps up to date with potential cybersecurity threats and that your preventative measures remain fit for the job should be a priority for businesses as we enter 2018. Whether you have an in-house IT team or outsource your cyber security needs to an external IT consultancy, protecting your business’s assets and data from cyber criminals should be a key priority in the coming months.