Cyber security, or lack thereof, has been in the news quite frequently.  Headlines containing “ransomware,” “cybercrime,” and “data breach” has made security top of mind for many business leaders – prompting them to start thinking more seriously about their cybersecurity efforts and how to better protect their organization.

Four Cyber Threats to watch out for in 2018:

Large Scale Data Breaches

Hackers are now thinking big when it comes to targets – the most memorable example would the cyber-attack on Equifax Credit Reporting agency in 2017.  Almost half of the U.S. population’s personal information, such as social security numbers, dates of birth, and other personal identity information. Sadly, one cannot hope that this would be the last example.  Security experts state that data brokers who hold information about people’s web-browsing habits will become a popular target.

Cryptocurrency Mining

Holders of Bitcoin and other digital currencies better hold tight to their proverbial purse.  Hackers have been targeting these holders, and while the theft of the cryptocurrency is a problem, there is a bigger problem to worry about – the theft of computer processing power.

Mining cryptocurrencies requires tremendous amounts of computing power. Software can be embedded in websites using a JavaScript-based cryptocurrency miner.  Once an unsuspecting user visits the affected website, the computing power from their device is used in the background to compute intensive mathematics functions to mine for cryptocurrency, all without the need for malware.

Ransomware in the cloud

Ransomware is a simple form of malware that breaches computer defenses and then locks down the computer using a strong encryption. Money is usually requested to unlock the computer using digital keys. Obviously, this has made ransomware very popular with criminal hackers.

Now that companies are increasingly moving to the cloud, it will be a natural progression for criminal hackers to move too, due to the massive amounts of data housed there. Large businesses hire the best talent in the information security world, making them difficult to hack.  Smaller organizations will be more susceptible to attacks, as even a modest break could bring high profits for these criminals.

Criminals arming themselves with AI

Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more sophisticated, much to the benefit of society.  Criminals are now fighting back with the same weapons, as it gives them a much higher return on their investments.

A prime example is spear phishing, which uses digital messages designed to trick victims into installing malware or sharing secure information. Machine learning models can almost match humans in the art of communication, all without tiring.

LBMC Technology Solutions assists small companies in protecting their systems and developing a comprehensive security program. If you would like an assessment of your current systems and learn how to strengthen them, please contact us today.