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Why You Need to Get Smarter About Cyber Security in 2019

ZUU Online SG logo ZUU Online SG 19/10/2018 Racheal Muriithi
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Cybersecurity is becoming a more critical subject in the realm of Information Technology. Cyber threats continue growing more sophisticated and more damaging. All kinds of organizations stay tuned to security analytics to assist them to drive their cyber protection. The year 2018 have seen organizations up their game in cyber security with measures like orchestration, automation among others.

While companies try to address the cybersecurity threats in all manners, some threats, and new ones emerge. Many witnessed high-profile attacks; their number continue to rise despite the constant flow of security updates. It is worthwhile to learn the cybersecurity trends anticipated in 2019 so that you arm yourself. You need to get smarter as these will be the year 2019 security trends.

1. Enterprising Ransomware

A good number of cyber-criminals target their attacks through ransomware. This cyber threat perpetrates where there are user’s negligent security practices.  It is practically disturbing that criminals are turning to ransomware to earn income. You should be highly observant of the fact that this type of virus takes advantage of the IoT. Automatic transmissions through internet objects provide a conducive environment for this virus to invade.

Advanced technology comes with a bunch of disadvantages too. Many people have embraced smart technology and use in sales, production and many other areas. They apply smart technology like automated factory lines and smart TVs. Hackers can target areas like factory production and cause business disorder if you don’t pay ransom in time.

You need to step into the year 2019 with robust security practices. Among other preventive measures to take include keeping your systems up-to-date. Ensure to use the latest version of your operating systems as such receive automatic updates with new security patches.

2. Artificial Intelligence Powered Attacks

In the year 2018, organizations have guarded their businesses with a more sophisticated protection version. Turning to AI or machine learning software is perceived as a proactive measure against cyber attacks. This owes to its aptitude to detect from the outcomes of previous events and provide a forecast for possible threats.

Nevertheless, AI is a double-edged sword as attackers are using it unveil polished cyber attacks. Where can organizations run to for systems safety? If you are using AI, you only need to have the right AI software in place. An AI with an algorithm to detect an advanced malware, that is new, and one that may have mutated from an old one can help.

AI should detect if a new piece of code is malware through its learning. A security product like NTT Security’s Advanced Analytics Managed Security Services, is a solution that goes beyond reactive defenses. It combats advanced attacks through a new approach to analytics.

3. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are another cybersecurity threat that takes a toll on organizations’ private data.  This attack is crafted to steal personal information like password, usernames and credit card data. Reports indicate that these attacks are on the increase and will continue. They camouflage to appear to come from legal sources. Mostly they appear in the form of emails.

If you agree to phishing email instructions, you lose personal information to its source. The criminals can then make purchases among other things using the information. Anyone who uses the internet can come across a phishing email once in a while. They commonly get into the spam box, and without vigilance, you can quickly open them. You must observe caution when opening your emails to avoid clicking such deliveries.

Large organizations are most susceptible to phishing emails as they can lose huge sums of money. The small organizations easily fall prey as they mostly lack sophisticated security systems. According to Wombats State of Security report,  76% of organizations experienced phishing attacks in 2017.

In the year 2018, the attacks increased and became more sophisticated. Phishing scams attempted to exploit confusion surrounding the GDPR standard. One email presumed to be from Airbnb and requested the recipient to accept a new policy. The message said the GDPR triggered the move and so recipient must comply to receive service.

With this trend, the year 2019 won’t be exceptional. Phishing attacks remain a valid threat in 2019 and organizations must revise their security measures to secure protection. Barkly’s guide to phishing attacks can help in this exercise.

4. Botnets Attacks

Botnets are a group of internet-connected devices coordinated to perform some tasks.  Though the initial intention for botnets was good, criminals are using them for evil plans. Hackers get access to networks and infect them with a common type of malware for selfish gains. They can execute large-scale attacks that involve millions of devices.

They mostly carry out distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) then send spam and steal confidential information. Attackers love Botnets due to the size of perpetration and also high internet usage. A large number of devices can be compromised and controlled.

Why the Botnets are Dangerous

Once your device is infected, it becomes part of an infected network waiting to receive instructions about the next move. It is hard to detect infection as your computer lays dormant until triggered. Criminals rent out botnets to other malicious parties to carry out their attacks like spam campaigns. Through botnets, attackers can spy you, steal your credentials and money when you are using the online banking system.

Criminals can also steal your documents and source code using botnets. The best defense against botnets is keeping your windows installation up to date. You should also ensure your antivirus is up to date and practically scan anything from emails to files accessed.

5. Cryptocurrency Hijacking

Cryptocurrency seems to be the most recent buzzword, but criminals have synced to it in their evil agenda. Anyone can fall victim more so those who are in cryptocurrency investment. When you demonstrate an interest in the trade, you become an easy target for the attackers. Cryptocurrency hijacking is commonly known as Cryptojacking.

To cryptojack, an attacker infects your computer with a virus which makes your CPU to mine cryptocurrencies. It can start when you land on a compromised website that has a cryptojacking code. This code hijacks your CPU, and it begins mining, usually Monero. The havoc cryptojacking causes include slowing down the overall performance of your computer.

You can detect a cryptojacking through checking your CPU usage as it usually spikes. If this happens, there are actions you can take. You can install a browser extension that protects from cryptojacking. For instance, for google chrome, there is minerBlock or NoCoin browser extensions.

The year 2019 is, therefore, another year destined for cyber attacks with prominence. Attackers understand that internet users are increasing day by day. They spot a higher potential for illicit gains and so are on a hot pursuit. Organizations and everyone should take precautionary measures against cybercrimes.

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