Cyber security is an industry that is constantly in flux. As new technology becomes available — particularly internet connected technology — attackers have more points of access into critical systems and networks. Forward-thinking companies must always re-analyze the landscape to detect upcoming threats and put the proper protections in place.
In recent years, we have seen new technology that leads to a number of new channels become increasingly common vectors of attack. Social engineering and phishing have made their way into the common vernacular as attackers seek to find their way into systems through human error. As your company looks for emerging cyber security vulnerability vectors to protect themselves against, keep these four emerging threats in mind:
Social Engineering Vulnerabilities
Social engineering and human error present the single biggest threat to companies in 2017. In fact, 60% of enterprise companies were targeted by social engineering attacks within the last year. As automated cyber security practices get better, attackers are increasingly relying on social engineering to make their way into systems and networks.
Phishing is the most popular method of social engineering. A phishing attack typically involves tricking the user into entering sensitive information by mimicking another popular website. For instance, a phishing attack may ask the user to enter their login details on a banking site and redirect them to a site with the same design. Often, even the URL is very similar to what the user would expect.
Another commonly used attack, which is in part social engineering, is ransomware. Ransomware attacks take control of your device and demand a ransom to remove the damaging software.
Unfortunately for cyber security experts, stopping these kind of attacks can be difficult. As always, preparing early and often can help to reduce the company’s vulnerability. Ensuring that employees are trained to spot phishing attempts is the most important component in stopping them.
Mobile Malware Vulnerabilities
Mobile malware is becoming an increasingly serious threat to organizations of all sizes. With each passing year, more people are on mobile. In fact, the total time spent in front of a mobile device is on track to surpass TV-usage in the early 2020s. For this reason, mobile malware has become an increasingly common tool for attacks, and a thorn in the side of companies. In 2016, there were more than 125,000 separate mobile banking trojans discovered. Proper training for employees and industry-standard mobile cyber security measures can go a long way to protect your company against mobile threats.
Storing data in the cloud is a pretty sensible thing for a company to do. Most cloud providers offer solid security, allowing companies to reduce their data storage costs significantly. However, the one downside of storing important business data in the cloud is that it makes it a very valuable target for hackers. Cloud service providers come under attack increasingly often.
When storing data in the cloud, it is always best to go with enterprise-class services. They are more likely to have the proper encryption policies, authorization systems, and better overall security compared to the competition. The best thing that a company can do to protect enterprise data that is stored in the cloud is to make sure that it is encrypted using a key that is not held by the cloud service provider.
Internet of Things Vulnerabilities
In 2017 there are more than 6.5 billion connected “things” in the world. Care sensors, refrigerators, pacemakers and security systems around the world are accessible to would-be attackers. The industry keeps growing, too. By 2020, the internet-of-things industry is expected to surpass $7 billion in revenue.
This expansion should give companies concerned about increases in security threats. The Research firm IDC is predicting that by 2018, two-thirds of all organizations will experience some kind of internet-of-things security breach. Companies must take this rapidly expanding sector into account to ensure that their business is protected from attacks that will become increasingly common in the coming years.
Reducing Cyber Security Vulnerability
Staying ahead of the rapidly changing attack-types can reduce cyber security vulnerabilities for any organization but can be a difficult task. Many organizations are still trying to adequately protect themselves from today’s technologies. However, with some forward thinking and a willingness to invest, companies can put themselves in a better position. Keep an eye on these four channels as they continue to emerge and as threats through them become increasingly commonplace.