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How's the cyberspace going to be in 2019? Is it going to recover from the damages of the recent year? Unfortunately, the cybersecurity industry is once again full of threat predictions, cyber forecasts, trend reports, and IT security analysis to help people connect the dots for a safer future. With the increase in threats and vulnerabilities, many organizations have become more prudent and active with their systems and incorporate up-to-date automation, case management, and orchestration to centralize their business platforms for better security. Naturally, the year 2018 proved a great year for such organizations.
Unfortunately, it wasn't the same case for others in the industry. In fact, it would be fairer to say that the past few years have been particularly too challenging as far as cybersecurity threats are concerned. There's no way we can forget the high-profile cyber-attacks of this year whose victim included Allentown City Council, Deloitte, Equifax WannaCry, and Colorado Department of Transportation. As the attacks and threats continue to rise, it raises the question whether the constant improvement in security updates is enough to deal with the potential cybersecurity threats. It puts a question mark on whether 2019 will prove to be a safer year for organizations or will it prove to be worse than 2017 and 2018.
Among the major cybersecurity concerns for the next year, the most prominent is machine learning. Hackers are learning this high-tech process to create powerful and innovative ways to target business with potential exploits and ransomware in serverless applications. Privacy is also becoming a significant concern as we continue to use our devices to collect consumer data. The only way to deal with such confusion is to learn about the cybersecurity threats predicted for 2019 and keep up to implement the best information security management and practices to avoid becoming a victim.
As mentioned above, machine learning has amazing benefits, due to which, it is a part of dozens of industries today. But while it helps with business processes and security, machine learning is now adopted by cybercriminals to discover unique ways to exploit and disrupt systems. While an organization can use machine learning for automating defenses and using data analysis to predict threats, cybercriminals are using it as a response to create arms war of machine against machine.
There are many ways attackers can use machine learning to threat a business, such are data-driven phishing attacks, vulnerabilities, successfully using stolen or weak credentials for devices and services, etc. For machines, it is possible to scan for vulnerabilities at a much faster pace. This allows them to exploit systems before a defense mechanism for added security can be used. As McAfee puts it, the best way to protect this kind of threat is to strengthen the partnership between machine and human who feed data in it. The human defenders can use the same machine to find vulnerabilities in time before an attack is initiated.
This one isn't new to the list, but it's here to stay. In fact, ransomware is the reason why many businesses have already lost millions of dollars. Research shows how attacks associated with ransomware have increased by more than 55% percent since the last year. This requires businesses to be more cautious of improving their decryption technology, data backups, and overall awareness and response to attacks.
What new could be this year is the approach of cybercriminals towards ransomware strategies. Traditionally, the attackers would target business databases and computers, blocking both access and encryption and demanding a fee to return access. This could, however, expand to a much larger scale as we have more and more devices joining as a part of our IoT systems and networks. If hackers make their way into your company's devices, the loss and disruption it can cause can be massive. In addition to providing data security training to the employees, and the organization should take all the essential measures to shut the hackers out of the crucial systems by all means.
More organizations are turning to use serverless application platforms - such as Amazon Web Service - to have their own smooth and high-quality applications running. However, there's a clear warning from security experts to use more precaution before implementing this technology in a rush. While they are growing in popularity, serverless applications are based on a framework supported and managed by third-party cloud service. There's a lot of risk for vulnerabilities in such cases, even though the trouble of allocating resources and maintaining servers is reduced. There's always a prevailing risk of escalation attack from external sources. Unfortunately, since you have limited management control of the data, you may not be able to protect your data at its best.
Adding more devices to the IoT system makes consumer data collection easier. How many times have you mindlessly tapped on the 'I Agree' button at the end of a privacy agreement without even reading a single line? The idea is to sell more data and get more devices connected that are capable of analyzing, tracking, watching, and listening to the consumer. Firmware installations and new updates usually have a pop up 'privacy agreement' page that users must click on to continue with the usage. This gives hackers a chance to get their hands on more disclosure and permission to sneak into the data.
While such methods of data collection are carried out for marketing purposes, it is often how high-profile cybersecurity breaches take place. It's important to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.
The risk, vulnerabilities, and threats associated with cybersecurity continues to pile up. However, the good news is that just like 2018, the challenges we predict to face in 2019 are not insurmountable. What's important is to keep your security systems as up-to-date as possible and understand the possible cybersecurity threats in the future to pace up accordingly and have a response plan in hand.
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