Cyber Crime Trends: Top 5 for 2016

The face of cyber crime in 2016 will be shaped by the following 5 cyber crime trends

2015 has been a watershed year for cyber crime targeting small to medium-sized businesses. A report by McAfee projects the total, global, cost of business-targeted cyber crime in 2015 will be $445 billion. This number is expected to grow to $2 trillion in 2019. That will be driven by a handful of cyber crime trends we believe will dominate the cyber crime landscape.

Cyber crime is skyrocketing for three reasons. The technology has never been more sophisticated. It has never been easier to obtain and use exploit kits. Finally, business networks are generally behind the curve in how they protect themselves. To quote former black hat hacker Kevin Mitnick, “[Hackers are] using 21st-century technology to defeat 20th century systems.“

Here are 5 cyber crime trends BankVault believes will dominate 2016.

1. More Browser and Web-Based Infection Exploits

Cyber criminals are shifting away from email-based malware exploits to web and browser-based exploits. These exploits are more invisible than email spam and have an economy of scale that is much better than email-based hacking. You can protect your business by (i) ensuring that all of your PCs are equipped with the most current browsers, (ii) educating your staff about how malvertising and Man-in-the-Browser attacks work and (iii) to always look for anomalies in website page designs and requests that might indicate this type of an attack.

2. More Sophisticated Social Engineering

Big data has made it easier for criminals to launch CIA-level social engineering campaigns that compromise your networks. Social engineering has become so widespread and effective that some insurance companies are now offering social engineering fraud loss protection. Expect many more personalized scam attempts.

3. More Ransomware

In 2016 expect attacks to be levied against your networks and ALSO at the cloud storage level. Cryptowall is the most widespread. Protect your business from ransomware by having, multiple, redundant data back-ups of critical information that are not connected to the open web 24/7.

4. BYOD Vulnerabilities

As ‘Bring your own device” (BYOD) becomes the industry standard, expect to see many more mobile-based exploits, especially for employees using Android devices. Symantec estimates that 17% of all Android apps are malware posing as a legitimate app. Apple devices are also increasingly vulnerable. Protect your business by reviewing your data access policies.  Place limits on the types of data that can be accessed by employees via their mobile devices.

5. New Attack Vectors in the Internet of Things

This internet of things (IoT) is putting millions of new, connected devices online with poor security practices including revealing device default settings to the general public. Hackers are expanding their efforts into devices like office printers, for a lateral attack that ends up compromising your network. Protect your business by doing a comprehensive survey of all devices that connect to the web in your office. Then, harden or isolate new connected devices from your network.

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