2017 has drawn to a close and phew, what a year it has been in the digital world. Terms like ransomware, data breaches, cyber bullying, Blue Whale Challenge have become household phrases and device users are waking up to the fact that it is important to be aware and take safety measures to stay safe online. We are in a stage of cybersecurity, with new devices, new risks and new threats appearing almost daily. As such, if we knew what lay ahead in the cyber world in terms of security, it would be so helpful!
Dear readers, today we are privileged to have that opportunity to know beforehand the future threat landscape, courtesy of McAfee.
The McAfee Labs 2018 Threats Predictions Report is out and it reveals the top threats for the coming year. Eager to know more?
The 5 key trends to watch in 2018 are:
- Connected homes may lead to increase privacy breach: Networked devices already transmit a significant amount of information without the knowledge of most consumers. The increased use of smart gadgets like remote-operated webcams at home, security systems or even car lock systems may make us sitting targets for corporates who may try to observe our lifestyle to deduce our likes and wants. The FBI’s recent toy warning to parents might suggest that such approaches could result in regulatory and even criminal legal consequences.
#cybersafety tip: Check security settings on all connected devices as soon as you bring them home, including connected toys
- Inside your child’s digital backpack: Often, children and their parents do not consider the consequences of their posts and uploads (explicit, implicit and inadvertent,). These could range from trivial items to revealing personal information. 3rd party vendors could use and potentially abuse private information in the future.
#cybersafety tip: Help your children navigate the digital world safely. Teach them to turn off unnecessary features, and change the default passwords to something much stronger!
- Increased granularity of serverless apps will lead to a comparable increase in the attack surface- Though these apps enable a new degree of granularity in computing functions, they leave the environment open to a privilege escalation attack. Also, it might make it possible for hackers to disrupt or disable the infrastructure from the outside. Data in transit can also be intercepted or manipulated
#cybersafety tip: always use secured network or VPN
- New targets for Ransomware—Cyber criminals are expected to shift focus to high-net individuals for Ransomware attacks as industry users are becoming more aware and security conscious. Car system locked down on a working day? Perhaps Ransomware attack is the cause. Further, the goal is less about traditional ransomware extortion and more about outright system sabotage, disruption, and damage, as the recent WannaCry NotPetya attacks revealed.
#cybersafety tip: Change default security settings on all your devices. Stay abreast of the latest social engineering threats
- Competition between defenders and attackers to use machines to outwit each other- –Defenders will use machine learning, AI, and game theory to probe for vulnerabilities in both software and the systems, correct vulnerabilities and contain zero-day attacks. On the other hand, attackers will be increasingly using machines to create attacks, scan for vulnerabilities, boost attack speed and shorten the time from discovery to exploitation. With better defender-machine combo, we can surely look forward to stronger security in 2018
#cybersafety tip: Use the best and most comprehensive security tool and adopt safety practices
So, as we prepare to welcome the new year, let us also pledge to welcome a new way of life; one that involves being aware of cybersecurity and adopting safety measures in the virtual world. Isn’t that a nice thought to start 2018 with?
Looking forward to a safer cyberworld in 2018!