2016 can be described as the year that cyber security went mainstream, as it affected American politics. The issue of cyber security is very critical to the American security to the extent that the President’s counter-terrorism advisor is a specialist in the industry. Despite all that, cyber security threats in 2017 are still tangible; thus, we should play our part in raising awareness.
The rising cyber security threats have put many security leaders under pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of the continuous security investments. The security experts are required to develop both risk management and loss prevention strategies. These strategies are supposed to assist in the mitigation of the following cyber threats.
It is very hard to protect the corporate cyber security world from external threats. Experts have predicted that 2017 might be the year primed by insider threats. This is because many companies have focused on protecting their data from external threats to the extent that they have ignored the potential internal threats.
Recently, close to 5,500 employees from Wells Fargo, a well-known bank, generated fake accounts using personal information and made money for the fake accounts. This clearly indicates that threats from within should be considered a cyber-security threat nearly as much as external.
Ransomware and Extortion
This is a fairly well known cyber attack that hackers use to hold your files or critical data at ransom. The only way you can access your files again if you pay a certain amount of money. Most of these attacks were extreme in 2016, where many businesses were held captives by hackers.
It is estimated that $209 million was paid as a ransom in the first quarter of 2016. These attacks still occurred throughout the entire year, and the attacks increased at a rate of 600% throughout the calendar year.
Since ransomware is now considered to be a billion dollar business venture, many companies are striving to manage the risks to avoid becoming a part of these statistics for such attacks.
Security analysts say that small and medium size businesses can suffer losses accumulating close to $75 billion a year due to ransomware attacks. These statistics clearly indicate that ransomware should be one of the top cyber security threats to watch out for in 2017.
As indicated earlier, cyber security threats took a new turn as they affected the 2016 American elections. This has never happened before, at least not in politics. The primary motive of cyber espionage is to use computer networks to gain access to confidential information.
A good example of this is the subsequent email releases onto WikiLeaks and DNC’s hack which shone light into cyber security as a US presidential platform. The fact that over 2 billion records were stolen in 2016, we should not expect this to slow down in 2017.
Cyber espionage should remain a top priority for everybody and company concerned with cyber security.
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
The medical industry is burdened with a lot of filing, that’s why it is gradually digitizing the management of patients’ records. Healthcare facilities are prioritizing the digitization of record systems as this simplifies the sharing of medical records electronically.
This move is very efficient from a practical and environmental viewpoint; however, electronic medical records present a new threat regarding cyber security. Statistics indicate that many hospitals were victims of ransomware attacks in 2016.
Also, cyber security experts say that medical devices used are extremely susceptible to these attacks since they are not protected from the attacks. With that said, hackers are going to continue targeting EMRs in 2017. Thus, hospitals should have an effective plan to manage these attacks.
In conclusion, cyber security threat will be more vicious in 2017. So, it is important to make the necessary preparations and ensure that your company’s data is protected from all fronts as hackers will deploy more advanced methods to breach your company’s firewall.