Hackers today are constantly evolving – with their efforts becoming more advanced and sophisticated by the minute. Only a few months into this year, 1.8 million unauthorized data records have already been exposed. Because of this, businesses today have to work to remain one step ahead to prevent the threat of an attack – by knowing what’s coming before it hits. But what exactly are the biggest network security concerns businesses should be aware of to ensure they aren’t part of the statistics for this year?
1. Extortion Hacks
In more recent years, companies only worried about ransomware attacks, when malware encryption prevents access to a victim’s system for a period until a ransom is paid. Today, businesses face the threat of extortion hacks, where the attackers threaten to release highly sensitive customer or company information if the victim refuses to comply with a ransom demand. With these types of threats, the public release of information could cause immense harm to the business, and it’s customers. Many remember the massive Sony and Ashley Madison attacks; those are likely just the beginning of a long list of extortion hacks to come.
2. Attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT)
We’ll remember 2015 for the many conceptualized attacks floating around against IoT devices, so 2016 might be the year those attacks play out. We expect that hackers will go beyond PCs and laptops to get access to data and private networks, now they’ll do it through devices like smart TVs, surveillance cameras and a variety of internet-reliant home systems that were never liable before.
3. Mobile Insecurity Threats
We’ve heard for years that mobile malware is going to be a significant threat, and 2016 could be the year that finally rings true. The lack of a major mobile attack leads many to think this may not be a risk; however, the sheer number of mobile devices used today increases the risk of a major attack sooner rather than later. Hackers see this as an opportunity – and will likely begin more intense targeting of those platforms.
4. Third-Party Attacks
Over time, hackers are getting even smarter, and they now understand that if they work with third-party vendors, it can give them easy access to secure private networks. They do it by using valid credentials from the third-parties, and they are then granted immediate and unprecedented access to all the information they need to blackmail the business. This type of access is exactly what took place during the massive Target breach of 2014.
Only time will tell what major security breaches 2016 will bring, but remaining aware and educated is essential in preventing these types of threats against a business. Also, when you partner quality equipment with updated systems and proper security controls, you are taking important steps to combat these potential attacks.