Are you prepared for the 2019 cyber threat landscape? While we continue to be awed at the way technology is moving forward and touching us in every aspect of our life, we are also shocked at the way cyber attacks are increasing.

cyber threat landscape

The attacks are not just increasing in numbers but also in the way they are being enacted. The attackers are devising new methods while cybersecurity companies struggle to keep up with them.

2019 Cyber Threat Landscape

With the enforcement of GDPR security of data has become a serious issue. It has moved from the IT department to the boardrooms. When there is a breach it is the board which is going to feel the heat. The blame is always on the Chief Information Security officer, the Chief Information Officer or the Chief Executive Officer. It is not just the reputation that is at stake with the implementation of GDPR. The financial implications are huge.

It is time to take a look at what will constitute the major threats in this year. With increased use of cryptocurrencies and IoT there will be increased threats which have to be dealt with. There is also a threat that even nations can use cyberattacks to weaken an opponent. Thinking on these lines have already started in many countries, even in the United States. 

Ransomware Slowing Down

Ransomware is on the decline though not completely out. Companies and government departments are adding to the security budget and making cybersecurity prevention a priority, using tools like Managed SIEM and Managed EDR. taking enough steps to combat a ransomware attack. This is not the only reason though. Attackers are finding other easier ways to make money and cryptocurrencies are one of the major sources.

Cryptocurrencies are mined using computer and software. Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies are generated by crypto-mining which is a process that requires a lot of computational power. This consumes a lot of energy and is also time-consuming. Now illegal miners are making use of others’ computers without their knowledge for the mining of cryptocurrencies. This is called crypto-jacking. This helps the criminals to get money added directly to their account. Without any centralized authority to check the bitcoin transactions, it is easy for the criminals to use this money for purely legal purposes.

Stealing money from bank accounts continue and will remain a trend in the 2019 cyber threat landscape. With more accounts being operated online it is easier for the banking trojans. People are still gullible enough to reveal their login details or opening malicious email attachments. People are also lured to visit websites where their bank details will be stolen from them.

IoT And The Threats Associated With It

IoT is being increasingly used in the world now. People prefer to have smart homes and smart appliances which they can control from anywhere. It is estimated that by 2020 around 40 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Organizations find using IoT very beneficial as they are able to control actions without human interference. Machines can find weaknesses in them by themselves thus avoiding breakdowns. There is much more to IoT and they are being explored. This should make understanding the cyber threat landscape a larger priority for organizations. 

While IoT is very important in making functions more efficient there is an inherent danger in the technology. It will allow for easy access to data by cyber criminals. IoT generates a huge amount of data. Most of the data can be sensitive information. IoT has touched almost every business running today. It is in use in healthcare, agriculture, automobile industry, etc. The data which is generated in healthcare industry can be very sensitive and private in nature. All the data is stored in the cloud and is accessible by internet.

The increase in the demand for IoT enabled devices has made many manufacturers to be careless about many of the components. Sensors are used to capture data. Using the right sensors for each of the device may be expensive for the companies. They may connect external sensors to the devices which will be easy to penetrate. Once the attackers have penetrated one device it is easy to access all the data that is stored in the cloud.

There is another problem with IoT. The companies which make the devices are in a hurry to launch more advanced models. They don’t have the time to upgrade the existing models. This will mean that these devices will not be able to combat the latest threats. They become the weak spots in the network which the criminals can easily use. Because the makers of these devices are full of orders they continue to use old and obsolete testing methods.

Threats Through Mobile Devices

As the activities on mobile devices increase cyber criminals are also moving to the mobile phones to gain from them. Mobile apps are in general highly personalized. They contain a lot of personal information which can be very useful for criminals. This information will include credit card and bank details which users will feed so that the transactions are faster. Criminals are now finding it easy to penetrate mobile apps and steal personal information.

It is essential for mobile developers to improve the server-side protection. In many cases developers are in a hurry to release an app due to pressure from the client. There are many frameworks which lack adequate security. Developers use this to complete the job faster. It may not provide adequate security for the data that is stored in the server. Many times, the developers think that mobile OS will provide adequate protection which is not true.

Storage of data in the phone is another weak area. App developers will leave the protection of this data to the phone. But it is not safe there. The best solution to this is to avoid storage of data that is not needed. Developers should also provide an additional layer of encryption.

How To Protect Your Organization From Attacks?

The 2019 cyber threat landscape so far has proven to add more layers and dimensions of cyber attacks than previous years.  By starting with a security risk assessment, organizations will have a better understanding of the security gaps in their strategy.

While security awareness training is important, it is vital that organizations plan around employee/insider threats. By utilizing a managed service for log events, you will have 24/7 surveillance of potential cyber threats. Plus, when you add managed endpoint detection and response (managed EDR), you’ll have a team of experts that are able to stop malware before it can execute. 

PREtect is a tiered service that offers all layers of cyber security protection in an affordable subscription-based service. Find out more about PREtect here. 

Defend Your Cyber Threat Landscape