Usually, these types of threats are possible only with some end-user permission, such as clicking OK or downloading a file. In 2016, Adobe announced a bug that affected customers by exploiting a vulnerability in a browser’s Flash plug-in. In this case, infection occurred by simply looking at an infected Web page. Breathing easy because you don’t use Windows? Don’t. Updates are required for OS X and Linux operating systems, too.
Terrifying to think a single employee could click a link, access a website, or download software and expose the entire organization to risk.
Among the predictions for next year from an Intel Security McAfee Labs report are an increase in attempts of dronejackings, more intrusive mobile phone hackings and malware aimed at exploiting the Internet of Things. Hackers will become increasingly adept at bypassing existing corporate defenses, and ransomware remains a top concern. Other threats growing in 2017?
- Watering hole attacks, laser focused attacks on high valued targets
- Class action lawsuits against companies that fail to protect customer’s personal data
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks like the ones that temporarily took down Amazon, Twitter,Netflix and others
In its fourth annual “Data Breach Industry Forecast” white paper, security company Experian says it takes constant vigilance to stay ahead of emerging threats and increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals. “While some tried and true attacks continue to serve as go-to methods for hackers, there are evolving tools and targets that are likely to become front-page news in 2017. Organizations can’t wait until an attack happens to ensure they are protected—they need to look at the signs early on to start preparing for new types of security threats,” the report said.
With the 2017 onslaught of vulnerabilities, you’ll need a wall of defenses – combating attacks on multiple fronts. Patch and keep operating systems, antivirus, browsers, Adobe Flash Player, Quicktime, Java, and other software up-to-date. According to a Barkly study, common security safeguards including email filtering, firewalls, and antivirus aren’t enough to stop cybercriminals. They found 95 percent of ransomware attacks can bypass firewalls, and 100 % bypassed antivirus protection. Be sure to double down on protection in 2017. Are you using an automated patch management system? Do you have an organized method of discovering, evaluating, and deploying software updates?
What’s one guaranteed prediction for 2017? Programmers will keep making small mistakes, and hackers will continue to turn them into big profits. Someone ends up the victim, don’t let it be your business.