Common wisdom dictates that security should be a top priority for every organization.  Considering the constant discovery of new threats and attack strategies, it has to be, if businesses have any intention of keeping their systems, data, and employees, and customers safe.  Indeed, over the past several years, corporate leadership have consistently identified security as the top – or at least one of the top – priorities.  It’s a good thing they have – here are some of the things they can expect to see in the second half of this year and into 2019.

According to reports, DDoS attacks increased significantly in 2017, and continue to evolve.  Attackers have also been known to target businesses multiple times – especially those where they have been successful in the past, with any number of motivating factors, including revenge, blackmail, activism, politics, or to provide a distraction for more malicious hacking.  While last year gave businesses a bit of a reprieve from large-scale DDoS attacks, they appear to back in full force this year, including two of the largest in history – one measuring 1.35 Tbps, and the second 1.7 Tbps.

Smaller scale attacks, however, are still prevalent and can be used to circumvent endpoint security and countermeasures.  They are often used for scouting and reconnaissance to identify weaknesses in networks, leveraging many different attack vectors for a prolonged period to gather information.

Security teams should also expect to see more IPv6 attacks, especially as more businesses adopt IPv6.  It will quickly become a new attack vector cyber criminals will look to exploit before any security flaws are fixed.  Also expect an increase in application layer attacks, which can be difficult to detect because they often mimic real requests.  But, when they are identified, businesses should be wary – Layer 7 attacks are often part of larger network sieges.

Of course, there’s ransomware, which continues to be a significant concern for business leaders, with a staggering annual growth rate of 350% according to Cisco.  Why?  In many ways, it’s an ideal tool for attackers:

  • Easy targeting of individuals and businesses;
  • Requires little investment;
  • Monetization is part of the attack itself – there is no need for additional effort; and
  • Ransom scales with the number of infected devices.

Ransomware, in fact, has become a big enough global issue that the World Economic Forum has made it a global security issue on its agenda, accounting for 64% of all malicious emails last year.

And of course, botnets will also continue to spread, largely because they have become part of a Hacking-as-a-Service mechanism, where botnets can be acquired for a fee to execute any activity desired.  It not only propagates the spread of bots, but also creates a revenue stream for cyber criminals.  The IoT is likely the next great cyber battleground, presenting a massive bot force if not secured effectively.

The bottom line is that threat actors aren’t standing still – they are evolving and creating new ways to exploit applications, devices, and networks.  It’s not a question of if you’re going to be attacked;  rather when were we and when will you be targeted again.  But, the most important question is how well prepared are you?  To find out how to better prepare your organization against current threats, click here.

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