Did you know that in 2018 alone, cyber-attacks cost the U.S. $654 billion, exposing 2.8 billion records in the process?
Security regulations are getting stricter each year. How do cybercriminals manage to circumvent these security practices? 2019 is already billions of dollars ahead in the first quarter. If this trend continues, we’ll be seeing higher numbers of breaches in the years to come.
These security risks are present for anyone, whether you’re only a consumer or a huge organization. It pays to know more about these threats so you can learn how you can block them.
Read below for the latest cybersecurity threats in 2019 you have to know about.
Phishing attacks have been around for more than a decade, and they continue to get more sophisticated each year. After all, it remains one of the cheapest and easiest ways to target users.
Attacks are often done via instant messaging or email hacking. The latter is the most common form.
Hackers pose as legitimate emails from trusted sources and websites. They can pose as your bank or a social media platform you use. Using a professional-looking email, they target unsuspecting users.
They often lead the users to a spoof website wherein they can gather the victim’s information. The emails often portray themselves as a warning or an alert. This prompts users to sign in to their account or provide their details via the spoof website.
They can also urge the users to click a link that will then download malware into the computer.
Spoof websites can be hard to tell apart from the real ones. The use of SaaS services is also improving the impersonation skills of hackers.
With the widespread attempts to increase awareness against such attacks, hackers have become more mindful so that even tech-savvy users now fall into their traps.
The rise of cryptocurrency gave way to a new type of threat called Cryptojacking. Cybercriminals hijack home and work computers to use their resources for Cryptomining. As such, it’s also called Cryptomining malware.
There’s money in mining cryptocurrency if you have the hardware for it. It’s an activity that takes up immense amounts of processing power, which leads criminals to use other resources for their mining purposes.
Know that there can be legitimate Cryptomining programs, too. However, these ask for user permission to run. Malicious versions don’t ask for your permission and run under the radar until you notice them.
While they’re unnoticed, though, they’ll continue to leech off your resources. This can cause serious performance issues and downtime.
Cryptojacking isn’t going anywhere in 2019 because it gives high returns for low risks and it’s easy to deploy. Cryptomining malware is quite common today as a form of scripts hidden on websites.
Ransomware attacks are slowing down. Recent data reveals that there were 151.9 million ransomware attacks in the first three quarters of 2019. That’s a 5% year-over-year decrease.
However, this doesn’t mean that the damages it causes are decreasing, too.
On the contrary, Ransomware is causing more devastation than ever. Today, it has shifted its focus to targeting high-profile organizations. It now even targets whole cities. Cryptocurrency also fuels these attacks because it allows anonymous transactions.
Because the hacker holds the files hostage with the malware injected into the system, businesses often have no other choice than to pay the ransom. Otherwise, they suffer from loss of data, downtime, and other penalties by the hacker.
That’s why it can be effective against medical facilities. Access to their system and patient information is important to these institutions.
The aftermath is expensive for organizations, too. The network clean-up and restoration of business operations can be resource-consuming.
Money is the biggest motivator of ransomware attacks, but criminals may use it for other nefarious purposes.
An attacker can hide in the system for a long time, collecting information quietly. Once it launches a ransomware attack, the organization will then be too distracted to even notice the attacker’s prior activities.
4. Third-Party Attack
Everyone who uses the internet entrusts their information to a third-party vendor. Hackers use these third-party vendors to gain access to your system.
This type of attack happened to Wendy’s in 2016. The fast-food giant claimed that attackers compromised an unnamed third-party vendor.
This vendor had access to the till systems, resulting in a wide data breach in 1,025 Wendy’s locations. The attackers collected the customers’ debit and credit card information.
With the abundance of enterprise data in the hands of service providers, this is one of the most concerning cybersecurity threats of 2019. The connection between businesses and third-party vendors can become a way for hackers to access their network.
Another area of vulnerability is regular security updates and patches. They serve to better protect the network from the latest cyber threats, but the vulnerability lies in the external libraries and resources for these updates.
These resources can become compromised. Cyber threats can then use the system updates to deliver malware instead.
If phishing leads you to a believable spoof website from a spoof email to get your financial information, formjacking leads you to the normal form of a normal website.
The website is real and the form is real. The threat is in the malicious lines of code on the checkout page forms of eCommerce websites. This code allows the hackers to get your information as you enter them on the form.
This threat is thriving because of the trusting nature of internet users. We have become so accustomed to forms that we now fill them out automatically using saved data.
For the most part, financial transactions should be secure because of heightened security, but hackers know there’s a gold pot waiting for them should they manage to break through it. They’ve now managed to do so in some situations.
Protect Your Data from Cybersecurity Threats
The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of the current cybersecurity threats. However, with all the entities handling your data right now, how can you completely protect your data from cybercriminals?
There’s a lot more to learn about cybersecurity. Learn more by reading more of our blog.