10 Cyber Security Threats for 2017 Everyone Should Know About
Cyber crime is rising at such an alarming rate that no one – not businesses or individuals – can afford to take it for granted.
According to a recent post, the cost of cyber crime jumped from $100 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2015 to an estimated $2.1 trillion globally by 2019.
One of the most important ways to fight back is to stay on top of cyber security trends and to put as many safeguards in place as possible.
Here are the top cyber security threats for 2017:
Internet of Things (IoT): More and more systems and products in the workplace and at home have become automated. Devices ranging from coffee makers and televisions to security cameras and wearable devices now have built-in interconnectivity and Wi-Fi capabilities. But many of these devices have little or no security.
Ransomware: This virulent form of malware locks files and computers until the ‘victim’ pays a ransom. It is forecast to spread to IoT devices, PoS systems, and ATMs.
Phishing: Already common in workplace and personal computers, phishing scams will show up more on mobile devices too. Hackers send personalized messages via fake emails, calls or SMS. The goal is to get the victim to provide sensitive information or click on a link containing malware.
Social Media: Many people habitually share confidential information on social media. But hackers research these channels for information to use in phishing scams.
Public Wi-Fi: Unsecure Wi-Fi is easy picking for cyber criminals.
‘Support’ Scammers: Scammers contact victims by phone or email (or internet pop-up ads) claiming to be a tech support company rep that has identified a problem on a computer and can fix it.
Fraudulent email: According to the 2017 Internet Security Threat Report by Symantec, one in 131 emails contained malware. Business email compromise (BEC) scams target over 400 businesses every day by using social engineering and computer intrusion techniques to compromise business email accounts – and steal money.
Bad Apps: Many apps for mobile devices have little security and may contain malware.
Passwords: Poor password hygiene has been blamed for many major breaches (for example, using the same password for different accounts and not changing passwords).
Old hard drives: Research has shown that legacy equipment (mobile and desktop) contains residual digital information that can be recovered and misused by information thieves. Many companies still stockpile old hard drives, increasing the risk of a data breach.
Here is a checklist of cyber security safeguards.
- Use strong passwords.
- Always protect mobile devices.
- Don’t share confidential information on social media.
- Use the highest security settings on all networks and devices.
- Keep virus protection current on all devices, and update and patch operating systems.
- Do not use public Wi-Fi for confidential information.
- Learn to spot phishing scams.
- Never download anything or click on links from unknown sources.
- Shop online carefully.
- Have a cyber security strategy in the workplace.
- Verify all business transactions.
- Protect confidential information on legacy hard drives with secure hard drive destruction.
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