The new year is in full swing, and though January is often a slow month for many businesses, hackers and cyber-attacks never settle down. In 2018, companies suffered a lot of loss to the hands of cyber-criminals. According to Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach study, the cost of the average data breach to companies globally was $3.86 million USD. The cost of the average data breach to American businesses was $7.91 million USD. Even for large businesses, these numbers are staggering but imagine the effect and cost that cyber-crime has on SMBs.
By looking at trends in cyber-crime from 2018, we can predict what’s coming in 2019. Here are four cyber-attacks circulating and how they’re likely to evolve in the new year:
The Use of Artificial Intelligence by Hackers
It seems that AI is the hot topic of the time. There are a plethora of companies using AI and machine learning technology to run their websites, cybersecurity, marketing reports, and more. Of course, anything used for good can also be used for malicious activities. Trending now is the takeover of chatbots by cyber-criminals, who use them to send malicious links and viruses to uninformed users.
Plus, AI-enabled apps are beginning to steal the scene, opening up a whole new world of cyber-attacks. Though we’ve yet to see significant breaches, because the technology is so new, there’ll likely be security holes that will, in turn, lead to privacy issues for users.
Spear Phishing May Become Even More Targeted
Because the everyday, active Internet user is becoming more and more aware of phishing emails, hackers will look to create more convincing emails by delving deeper into users’ details. If a criminal is able to hack into your email account, they have access to past conversations rife with your personal info. From here, they can learn specifics of your life you would never expect a hacker to know. This could be people you regularly communicate with or those you may transfer money to, like an employee or child. This means they can send an email to you from someone who seems familiar to get you to transfer money or click a malicious link.
Connected Car Breaches
Internet of Things technology has exploded over the past couple of years, and as hackers become more familiar with it, this tech is becoming more and more vulnerable. The next big target is likely connected cars. Arguably, a connected car breach can offer more personal information to hackers than even credit card information (think where you often go, your exact location, what time you come and go each day, etc.). Keep an eye out for new ways to secure these devices throughout the year as well.
The good news? Ransomware deployment seems to be slowing. According to Kaspersky’s Ransomware and malicious crypto-miners 2016-2018 report, there was a 30% decrease in users who encountered ransomware in 2017 and 2018, compared to the 2016/2017 period. The bad news? Hackers are starting to make ransomware more targeted to specific industries like the healthcare sector and municipal organizations that possess more sensitive client data than your average SMB.
Sometimes, the best offense is a great defense. To ensure your company’s data is well-protected from ransomware and the like, back up your data somewhere it can be easily recovered in case of an emergency. StorageCraft is the data recovery pro, and we’re here to help you with your data security solution. Contact us today to learn more about our ransomware solution and other backup and recovery tools.