5 of the Biggest Cyber Threats to Watch Out For in 2019

With every new year, comes a new batch of cybersecurity threats. The FBI claims that current cyber threats are reaching an all-time high in terms of numbers and total economic damage. 

Here are five serious threats your business needs to know about.

1. Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is one of the most common cyber attack vectors out there. It’s popular because it’s cheap. Like real fishing, all it takes to run a spear phishing campaign is an infinite amount of time and patience.

The basic concept behind spear phishing is that the attacker sends fake emails to the target that look official. The idea is to get the target to click a link that they think can be trusted. In actuality, the link takes the victim to a phony website to steal their credentials. 

2. Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are an issue that started appearing a few years ago. In this scenario, the attacker somehow gets control of a victim’s computer system. The attacker “bricks” the victim’s system, and demands a ransom to reactivate it.

In a ransomware attack, the victim’s computer or phone may be encrypted. There is no guarantee that the offenders will actually release the software if the victim pays.

3. IoT Botnet DDoS Attacks

The internet of things [IoT], is the complex mesh of devices that are connected to the internet. There have been numerous Distributed Denial of Service attacks using IoT botnets.

If a hacker can figure out a way to take over some kind of manufactured device that is connected to the internet, they can often take over a huge number of identical manufactured devices. Once they have taken over a bunch of devices, they have what amounts to a “botnet”.

A botnet can be used for a DDoS attack. The malicious attacker signals his army of devices to send messages over the internet towards the target. It doesn’t matter that the messages don’t make sense, the volume of traffic overwhelms the target’s system.

4. Weak Passwords

There has been a proliferation of password cracking bots on the internet. It’s important to have a strong password and consider two-factor authentication for business-critical applications. Even if you hire a managed IT service like this website you’ll still struggle to convince your employees to adopt best practices.

No matter what your policy, employees will somehow figure out a way to use weak passwords, or compromise their passwords somehow. Two-factor authentication doubles the difficulty of cracking passwords. The user must confirm they have physical control over a second registered device to gain access to the secure system.

5. Cloud Security Threats

As businesses move their infrastructure into the cloud, new threat vectors are beginning to emerge. By its nature, certain aspects of security have to be outsourced in a cloud infrastructure situation. You have to trust the cloud provider.

There have been several high profile cloud breaches where the enterprise and the cloud provider both shared responsibility for the breach.

Cyber Threats are Everywhere

It’s a dangerous world out there. Cyber threats range from sophisticated robot attacks to plain old human error, the bad guys are lurking out there in cyberspace, waiting for their opportunity. You need to pay attention to the latest cybersecurity news if you want to survive and thrive.

Check out our blog from more great tips for your business. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.