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As 2015 comes to a close, cyber security remains a top area of concern for organizations across the country and around the world. Whether you’re preparing your company’s cyber defense budget for 2016 or trying to better protect yourself online, it’s helpful to consider where cyber security trends have been headed and where they are likely to go.
With that in mind, Lunarline has created a list of the five most pressing cyber security concerns for 2016. For each issue, we offer an explanation of the problem and some solutions to consider in establishing a response.
An attack type that locks users out of systems and demands a ransom to regain access, ransomware is nothing new in the cyber security world. Recently, however, the technique has been surging in popularity across the globe. Citing a 155% increase in incidents, McAfee labs called ransomware the fastest growing malware threat.
Ransomware is a danger that businesses and individuals need to be aware of and prepared for. Antivirus technologies, adherence to secure use standards and threat knowledge management tools can all help you steer clear of these attacks.
2. Cyber Espionage
U.S. international relations are a hot topic, and cyber espionage between countries is a major part of the discussion. For instance, there have been ongoing breaches by the Chinese government targeting trade secrets of major U.S. corporations. This comes even after reaching a U.S.-China agreement to cease espionage activities between the countries.
Additionally, there are serious concerns about intelligence gathering and sabotage efforts undertaken by terrorist groups like ISIS, which has recently touted its “cyber caliphate” hacking group.
In combatting cyber espionage, organizations should take steps toward proactive cyber intelligence capabilities, which take them beyond standard monitoring and reporting. It’s also critical to make sure encryption is properly deployed for all sensitive data and that a network’s attack surface is minimized as much as possible.
Wearable devices are a growing trend in consumer technology. And for all of the convenience they offer, there are also associated risks. Not only do these devices enable easy access to a wearer’s personal data, they can also serve as a point of entry to data stored on linked devices or in cloud-based accounts.
Individuals and organizations need to make sure they are configuring for optimal security settings to prevent data theft on wearable devices.
4. Increasing Attack Sophistication
Hackers are continuing to evolve their exploit methods as we enter a new year, and businesses are in jeopardy of falling far behind their level of sophistication. In many of this year’s security incidents, advanced persistent threats remained dormant in organizations’ systems for months before executing and causing significant damage.
To fight back against today’s hackers, businesses need smart vulnerability assessments that can draw out obscure threats and map them to critical resources. They also need to consider regular penetration testing to uncover the exploit methods that would otherwise go unnoticed and unreported by common scans.
5. Cloud Services
More organizations are leveraging cloud capabilities to increase operational efficiencies and stay competitive in their fields. And while this may be a positive, popular and necessary step for a business, ignoring the security considerations of cloud migration can be detrimental.
A secure cloud strategy needs to establish the types of information that can be stored in and accessed from the cloud. It also requires some strategic planning to properly control encryption, and it should involve semi-regular auditing of cloud partners to ensure compliance with security standards.
Whether it’s implementing security in the cloud, launching a cyber intelligence effort, creating a bring-your-own-wearable policy or any other aspect of corporate cyber security, Lunarline has a solution to get your organization prepared for the coming year. For more information on our cyber security products, services and training, visit lunarline.com or contact us today.