2019 cyber risks

Guest Post: 7 Cyber Risks to Watch Out For in 2019

2018 was an eventful year that brought various security breaches, many of which made headlines. The year proved that even large organizations fall into the hands of hackers. This is why cybersecurity is among the top current internet issues that have been stressing business leaders constantly.

There are a lot of threats to expect in 2019, and if we make the effort to avoid these cybersecurity risks, we can decrease the damage significantly. My list of top 7 cybersecurity risks to avoid is below. What else is on your 2019 list?

CryptoJacking:

The explosive growth of ransomware is a clear indicator that evil organizations will not stop using malware to profit.

Cryptojacking, also referred to as the “crypto mining malware,” uses various methods of first access and smart scripts to steal information from the victims. This is a quieter and much more insidious method that works in the background and steals resources to make profit.

My 2019 prediction: The cryptojacking issue is predicted to increase in 2019 because of the ease of deployment and profitability that it offers.

It will be the base of almost one-third of all the attacks in 2019. Cryptojacking is the cyber threat which increased by 1000% in the first few months of 2018, and this constant game between the hackers and security analyst will continue to grow more and more.

Applicable loss types: Revenue, reputational damage, business interruption, ransom fines.

Example susceptible sectors: Finance, retail, healthcare.

Software Versioning:

Exploitation of software bugs is an old trick, and now the smart hackers are making quick efforts to subvert the software development process. They specifically target the developers for such attacks and due to this, malware has been reported in many open source libraries.

Such opportunities of corruption increase more and more with the complexity of the code.

My 2019 prediction:  The reason for this is that the back channels bypass the traditional detection capabilities that are used to prevent external incidents from infecting the network.

Applicable loss types: Business interruption, reputational damage, remediation.

Example susceptible sectors: Finance, defense, online retail, IT services.

Less Traceable Attackers:

Cybercriminals will be looking for smarter ways to boost their fraudulent operations. They will potentially relocate to those parts of the world where cybercrime is not regarded as a serious crime. Because of this, they won’t be easily traced. Russia, China, Brazil, and Nigeria are among the top cybercrime hotspots of the world. These countries are the hotbed for hackers.

My 2019 prediction: It will be more difficult to trace hackers as they will be using the latest technologies like AI and machine learning to accomplish their evil plans.

Applicable loss types: ALL.

Example susceptible sectors: ALL.

Exploitation of the Dark Web:

Attackers will improve their way of hacking by planning faster than the defenders in order to remain a step ahead of them. Defenders suffer from limited cybersecurity resources and as a result, attackers succeed in their malicious plans more easily.

My 2019 prediction: Attackers will target the Dark Web and some portion of the Deep Web to communicate anonymously and share resources and intelligence.

Applicable loss types: Legal, reputational damage, business interruption, data breach recovery costs, contract penalties, fine.

Example susceptible sectors: Finance, healthcare, retail.

Botnets:

Cyber attackers will continue to execute large-scale attacks using a complicated network of machines referred to as botnets. This attack may consist of millions of computers used for destruction, deception, or disruption.

My 2019 prediction: The number of botnet attacks will increase because of the sheer power that they can produce in a short time at little cost. These internet bots can easily compromise and control big systems causing severe loss. To avoid this, research is going on all over the world and a distributed system for bot detection is being developed.

Applicable loss types: Revenue, remediation, reputational damage, business interruption.

Example susceptible sectors: Government, healthcare, retail, finance.

Cloud (In)Security:

Cloud attacks rose in 2018, and the bad news is that it will keep increasing in 2019 with an even more rapid rate.

More and more data is now deployed on the cloud. In this way, organizations are exposed to unsecured data as cloud security solutions attempt to keep pace with attack sophistication and persistence. This gap is a big one, and headline-level events have shown that cloud data is still in some cases publicly accessible and unencrypted.

My 2019 prediction: In 2019, the two primary targets for hackers will be the cloud and user tools. The operating system on user devices provides more enhanced functionality than ever before, leaving them more defenseless and an easy scapegoat for attackers.

At the same time, users will demand more extensibility and the capacity to manage any operating system, any application on any device.

Because of this, businesses will have to move to a new, ‘zero trust’ device structure.

They will move to prioritized cloud-delivered protection solutions over traditional appliance-based outcomes which will result in a vastly expanded attack surface.

Applicable loss types: Revenue, remediation, reputational damage, business interruption, data breach recovery costs, contract penalties, fines.

Example susceptible sectors: Finance, healthcare, IT services.

IoT Challenges:

IoT security is the most significant challenge that will trend upwards in 2019. Many organizations consider the benefits driven by IoT technology and they neglect the critical security challenges which can be quite dangerous.

Rebecca Herold, a well-known Privacy Professor said. “How many IoT devices exist, and with how many computing devices do they share data? How many others have access to that data and what decisions are being made with this data? No one really knows. We just don’t know.”

My 2019 prediction: The complexity of attacks that use IoT will rise in 2019 because there is a massive increase in high-end smart devices.

The attackers are becoming more audacious and have been attacking in a way that lets malware spread to a large number of devices easily, infect them and monitor the traffic passing through these devices.

Applicable loss types: Revenue, reputational damage, business interruption, data breach recovery costs.

Example susceptible sectors: ALL.

Conclusion:

Attackers keep on changing their methods, but their goal is always the same: to steal a valuable resource from the victim in order to profit. Such attacks cause small breaches while some result in long-term reputational damage.

Data security doesn’t only keep the cyber criminals at bay, but it also includes the assurance that the customers can trust their favorite brands without any doubt.

As security professionals, I call upon my colleagues to champion advancements in data security practices and awareness of the challenges to help better protect ourselves and our organizations.

About the Author:

Allen Jame is a blogger and a web developer. He loves reading and writing blogs about cybersecurity.