This past year has been a crazy time for cybersecurity and internet-based crime. Every week there seemed to be a new headline of a high-profile security breach or malware attack. And while we’ve pretty much made it through the year, 2018 is sure to be filled with many of the same challenges, as well as a few new ones. Here are some cybercrime trends to watch for, as well as a few security solutions that will become even more critical as time goes on.
1. Cryptojacking is a top priority in cybercrime
Cryptocurrencies can be hard to wrap your mind around. However, cryptocurrencies have very real purchasing power, and they feature in one of the biggest trends for 2018. Cryptojacking is a relatively new cybersecurity threat that allows criminals to use computer CPUs to mine cryptocurrency without the user’s permission or even knowledge, and the ability to accumulate wealth using others’ resources is going to be both very lucrative and very hard to prevent.
2. Ransomware like we've never seen
Ransomware - or something like it - dominated headlines as two of the largest cyberattacks of the year, WannaCry and NotPetya, held people’s devices hostage in exchange for money. While it is estimated that neither of the two largest attacks actually made much money, many devices were wiped, and the world of cybersecurity began re-evaluating what ransomware means.
3. Privacy's out the front door
Connected home devices came in like a lion this year, and they’re going to remain popular through 2018, but the convenience of an automated assistant in your home comes with a cost: privacy. These devices are collecting and recording data, and while their manufacturers have stated they don’t plan on doing anything sketchy, corporations have shown that they have no qualms buying and selling personal data. In addition, these devices ship with little to no security, making them vulnerable to third parties.
4. Machine learning "arms race" in cyberspace
Machine learning and virtual intelligence could be the next step in fighting cyber crime, but could also be criminal’s greatest weapon. With a greater ability to anticipate and block attacks, machine learning seems to be where cybersecurity is headed, but attackers are doing just as much as defenders to leverage this tech for themselves.
5. Shortage of cybersecurity experts
While cybercrime has been more visible than ever, IT professionals are not rising to the cybersecurity call to arms at the same rate. Whether individuals and businesses don’t believe they will be targeted or the technology seems too difficult to learn, the number of people going in to cybersecurity is too few to keep up with the changing landscape.
6. Cloud security as a business investment
Because of all the terror around cybersecurity, companies large and small are realizing that they need cloud security solutions yesterday. In 2018, making security a top business priority can help prevent data breaches and attacks, as well as the subsequent reputation and revenue damage sustained by targeted companies.
Cybersecurity is constantly shifting, which is why it’s so important to stay on top of trends from year to year. Stay vigilant and informed in 2018 to protect yourself against evolving cyber threats.