The ongoing cybersecurity breaches over the past few years have proven that no one is safe. Individuals, businesses, and government departments are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. As technological development continues to advance rapidly, hackers are becoming more aggressive.
The attacks are becoming more sophisticated affecting all individuals around the globe. Increased growth of these threats is due to lack of knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals to mitigate the attacks.
A security breach ranges from unauthorized access to data, network or devices through bypassing the set underlying security policies and procedures. Companies and some governments are employing security mechanism for protection against cyberwar threats, espionage, and sabotage.
Current internet and network security threats facing Individuals and businesses
1. Use of AI and machine learning to boost cyber defense.
Artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are playing a major role in cybersecurity. With the increased use of machine learning models to identify attacks they are also at a risk of being exploited by hackers.
2. Changing nature of distributed denial of service, DDoS
Cybercriminals are changing the attack patterns they’re using to deny authorized users from accessing network services. Users are also trying to come up with techniques to breach security policies they consider to be too restrictive and Bypassing of some of these security policies they dislike opens a security loophole for cyber-attacks. Criminals are generating high volumes of network traffic each day by increasing DDoS attacks while hiding their origin.
3. Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerabilities
IoT has raised some red flags among network engineers. Some of the unsecured IoT devices can open backdoors for criminals to gain access to a network and raid servers storing sensitive information. Not knowing all the IoT devices connected to the network may lead to insufficient mechanisms to address IoT security issues.
Collection of real-time data by both individuals and organization has increasingly contributed to the growth of IoT devices. The devices are not well secured and are susceptible to hacking. Any loss of customer data on the network can act as a security loophole for the organization.
4. The cost of data breach
The cost of a data breach due to stolen information has been increasing over the years and ignoring the risk of a data breach can be costly for your organization. Each stolen record with sensitive information contributes a certain cost to the compromised data. Therefore, individual and organization should be aware of any cause of data breach.
A report surveyed on 350 companies by Ponemon Institute indicates that an average cost for sensitive data stolen is 154%.
Introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union will lead to reduced cost of security breach since companies will be required to process, store and secure personal data according to the set standards. Any infringement of the regulation will attract a fine of 20 million euros.
5. Evolution of cybercriminals
Cybercriminals are driven by the thrill of playing with laid down rules and regulation in order to access restricted information. A terrorist organization is paying these individual hackers to help them breach security policies of some organizations or government departments leading to increased cyber-terrorists threats.
6. Cyberwar and Espionage
Governments are also using cyber skills for political disruption of other governments activities especially information systems for military purposes. Any attack on a news site and spread fake news can create conflict on affected nations or parties. Cyber-crime not only affecting the non-profit organization, governments, and private sector, it has become a national cyber warfare.
7. Threat of the cloud data
Many organizations are using cloud computing services as a major solution to their next step of development. Due to increased security threats, new rules are being created to control virtual access to information on the cloud. These rules are likely to affect the organization which relies on cloud-based storage and computing.
8. Ransomware attacks
For the last few years, ransomware threat has been growing attacking high profile victims and have infected more than 200 000 computers in more than 150 countries. Businesses and individuals need to update systems regularly and strengthen real-time security defenses to avoid these kinds of threats.
9. Bitcoin Crypto-currencies
The growing use of Bitcoins as a mode of payments is promoting money laundering since the distributed ledger maintains the anonymity of individuals doing transactions.
10. Phishing campaigns.
11. Email marketing campaigns are being used to deliver malware. Hackers are embedding a malicious code on forwarded emails to collect billing, addresses and other sensitive information about companies and individuals.
Hardware security threats
Hardware security involves the devices used to monitor network traffic. Some these devices include hardware firewall and use of proxy servers. It is important to consider the hardware vulnerability information from the manufacturer to assess its security. Attack to routers, backbones or firewall causes internet traffic slowing network performance.
Theft of hardware devices is also another security concern for the organization and some controls should be put in place for physical control of computing resources and equipment.
Cyber attack methods are here to stay, companies should employ network security analyst to monitor Internet and network securities issues. Measures should be taken to protect against malicious ransomware and other security breaches. In order to improve protection, employees should be trained on security threats and how they can help the organization in mitigating any security risk.