What Are the Biggest Cyber Threats of 2016?

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What Are the Biggest Cyber Threats of 2016?

malwareAs much as we’d all love a crystal ball to foresee and destroy threats, technology hasn’t quite advanced to that point just yet. However, a careful study of the past and review of upcoming advancements can give us some insight into what’s around the corner.

As we conduct our lives online, the potency and sophistication of cybercrime grows. While 2016 is sure to see further developments in online security, there are some emerging threats all online users should be aware of.

1. Weak or Nonexistent BYOD Policies

Employees want to be connected at work, and employers want to be able to reach their staff as quickly as possible. As a result, wi-fi and the ability to use it with personal devices has become the expectation.

In many ways, electronic devices keep us productive and happy at work. However, connecting them to the internet exposes businesses to risks. The potential for hackers to access enterprise data is real.

If you haven’t implemented a strict BOYD policy in your workplace, make it a priority for 2016.

2. Data Breaches and Losses with Cloud Services

The cloud, or Internet-housed software and services, is here to stay. While businesses make use of both private and public cloud services, the latter takes the lead with a reported 88 percent of enterprises adopting the public cloud.

So, while the cloud isn’t going anywhere, hopefully, it won’t be raining on your parade either. Data breaches and losses represent a huge concern for any enterprise cloud user as the potential for financial ruin is evident. Any type of shared infrastructure poses risks even for the most of careful of adopters; security consultants can help you find a way to use the cloud effectively and safely.

3. The Malware Comeback

While talk about malware might see more appropriate for a review of cyber threats from 10 years ago, we have bad news. Malware has reared its ugly head again. If you’ve forgotten malware like an old Hotmail password, here’s a review: this type of malicious software is used to access, damage or disrupt your system.

But there’s an even more unfortunate thing about malware. By the time you realize it’s there, it’s often too late and that’s how hackers like it.

Hackers are getting better at implementing types of malicious software that are nearly possible to detect. All the more reason to create a strong mitigation strategy with a cyber security expert.

4. Blackmail and Cyber Threats

Blackmail, and its seedier counterpart, extortion, are methods as old as time. Someone has or believes they have something over on you. They use this information to get money, favors or something else they desire out of you.

While blackmail is nothing new, the internet makes it easier to cook up more sophisticated and vicious schemes. The chances of you being blackmailed by someone you know are likely and hopefully slim. But ransomware is a legitimate threat to all online users. This form of malware is typically downloaded by visiting an infected website but may also arrive in the form of email attachments.

Ransomware locks users out of their system and demands online payment to grant access. Paying doesn’t guarantee you’ll regain access either.

With the popularity of bitcoin and the like, this malware is destined to make an unfortunate comeback this year.

5. Mobile Pay Hacking

Mobile pay has not taken off as much as people predicted. With our smartphones nearly superglued to our hands, it’s curious that users are reluctant to use Apple Pay, LoopPay, etc.

However, perhaps the reluctance to dive in is a good thing. As mobile payment systems advance, you can be sure that hackers will be poised to steal information and put new security methods to the test. It may be wise to hold off on mobile pay until those security methods have a chance to catch up.

Any good online user follows common sense safety tips to keep their private information secure. But as cyber threats emerge, you may not have the time to analyze the latest security methods. Instead of leaving your online security up to chance and the whim of hackers, put it in good hands with Prudential Associates.

We offer security consulting to help you maximize the benefits of the latest technology advancements while minimizing risks. For more information about our security consulting services, contact us at (301) 279-6700.