Data breaches continue to increase in scope and sophistication each year. That’s because cybercriminals stop at nothing to steal private information and evade detection.
While businesses of all sizes are susceptible to malicious programs, small and medium-sized companies remain at higher risk of such threats. Hiscox reports that almost 50% of small businesses in the US have dealt with a cyber attack in the past year.
To prepare for a new year of cyber threats, you should know what to expect on the cybersecurity front. Let’s take a close look at 8 cybersecurity predictions for 2019.
1. Hackers Favoring Cryptomining Over Ransomware
Cryptomining might be the reason we’re seeing a decline in ransomware. Kaspersky reports that there has been a 44.5% increase in cryptomining attacks in the past year, while ransomware encounters have plummeted by nearly 30%.
However, that doesn’t mean you’ve seen the last of ransomware groups. The number of random attacks might have gone down, but targeted attacks may continue to wreak havoc in the future.
Take SamSam for example — a group cybercriminals that has a history of targeting organizations such as municipal and healthcare organizations.
In January 2018, Talos Intelligence published an article describing a new technique used by SamSam to execute their payload. This new variant, containing string obfuscation and improved the anti-analysis techniques, makes threat detection and analysis more difficult.
In response to ransomware threats such as SamSam, Talos recommends businesses consider several best practices to protect themselves.
2. An Increase in Nation-State Cyber attacks on Citizens
State-sponsored cyber attacks on journalists like Jamal Khashoggi are also likely to happen more frequently in the coming year, especially when like-minded governments continue to turn a blind eye on these attacks.
Israeli publication Haaretz asserts that the Saudi government utilized premium Israeli spyware to monitor Khashoggi’s movements in Canada.
They’ve also reported that the Israeli government has been supplying many nations with technologies for spying on their citizens.
3. A Rise in Data Protection Policies
When the European Union launched the General Data Protection Regulation this year, the goal was to help companies to keep a tight lid on consumers’ private information.
Those who’ve violated the GDPR have yet to receive punishment, but the penalties are definitely coming.
As consumers demand more control over their private information, companies will be held accountable for their actions or their inaction.
Starting next year, you can also expect to see an increase in nationwide enforcement of privacy laws similar to GDPR.
4. Multi-Factor Authentication as the Standard for Online Transactions
Online services will implement multi-factor authentication methods to make them less susceptible to phishing attacks and other cyber threats.
Consumers won’t be happy about it. Until more standardized processes are created, it will be confusing and frustrating.
Tech giants will attempt to make the multi-factor authentication process a bit easier and more convenient.
5. Advanced Threat Protection in Microsoft’s Mainstream Products
In an effort to build a security-focused brand image, Microsoft plans to implement Advanced Threat Protection standards across all their mainstream products in 2019.
This service enables anyone with an E5 license to monitor and review what attackers have done to their system.
6. More Targeted Spear Phishing Attacks
Spear phishing attacks are only going to get worse, and homeowners will make easy targets. Cybercriminals can hack into a mortgage lender’s computer and steal crucial information about their clients.
Using the agent’s email address, they can trick homeowners into wiring payments to their account.
7. Cyberwarfare Rules Between Nations
Some nations will start to establish digital boundaries and rules for cyberwarfare. However, countries such as Russia, China, and North Korea will continue to be a safe haven for cybercriminals.
They will have all the resources they need to develop more resilient malware. Without significant changes in global geopolitics, this scenario will continue.
8. Master’s Degrees in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity training won’t be enough to advance a security professional’s career in 2019. More and more companies are starting to demand that Chief Security Officers have a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
And anyone who wishes to acquire the necessary skills can take some classes in some of the best universities in the country.
Cybersecurity predictions are complicated. Numbers can show us how the landscape might evolve in the coming year, but only to a certain extent. No one might know what the future holds, but you can always set plans for unexpected disasters.
If you would help with your cybersecurity needs, contact us today.