Emerging Cyberse curity Challenges in the Age of Connectivity
On my first day on the job in the information security department, one of the first goals was to set the top 5 security threats.
These five threats include:
- Phishing – 90% of cyberattacks begin with phishing. This includes the form of what seems like real-life legit emails that seduce users to reveal private and personal information. These forms are meant to seem harmless, although they contain links that install malicious software that can really harm your machine.
- DDoS – Distributed denial-of-service is an attack that occurs when several systems overrun the bandwidth or resources of the servers.
- Data Breach – A breach or infringement of our private information which is sold to different parties or used in other ways.
- Ransomware – Malicious software that encrypts our information and then requires the amount of the ramson to be paid for us to gain back our information. If the ransom is not paid up, the threat of the information could be released to the public.
- IoT Vulnerabilities – With everything connected to the internet, such as security cameras, smartwatches, and other devices owned by students and faculty, presents back doors for hackers. These are back doors because they usually lack security and or are not updated regularly.
Ransomware’s Costly Grip: Pervasive Threats
Out of the threats listed, the most prevalent include ransomware and malware; these are more costly than data breaches. Five months into 2019, around May, ransomware caused 11.5 billion in damages. This means that someone becomes a new victim every 14 seconds. Due to how ransomware works, it can be the most costly and frequent. Also, if the ransom is not paid in the amount of time listed, the amount of data that could be sold to other parties can be severally damaging to any organization. Now today, there is a new type of ransomware which is crypto-jacking. This ransomware encrypts software to attack a victim and unknowingly installs a program that secretly mines for cryptocurrency, which can severely damage and slow down an organization’s network.
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These are the most common threats due to the perfection of their techniques. A lot of organizations have also had a tough time addressing these threats. A large amount of the time, it is more costly to have these vulnerabilities fixed by a professional, so administrators and higher-ups in these organizations decide to just keep paying the ransom every time. This is extremely negative since a large amount of information can still be taken even if the ransom is paid.
Emerging Cyber Risks
Malware is also the most common type of cyber-attacks. This includes spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms. Making sure an organization’s network and infrastructure are safe from malware is a constant battle. Although the more threats that will be more critical in the next 12 months include IOT issues becoming worse due to the new 5G technology. 5G is a new upgrade to cellular network technology that proposes faster speeds and bandwidth. Over 265 million mobile device users are in the United States due to 5G expansion among major cities. The prediction from hill.com states that the expansion of 5G will continue to grow, and the vulnerabilities will also grow; these vulnerabilities will also be unknown to the average person. The new infrastructure will have to support 5G; if this does not happen, more and more devices will be at extreme risk.
Another major risk that could come up in the next year could be ready-to-use hacking toolkits. Toolkits are already available for the average Joe to use, so, therefore, more and more will become which could be easier and easier to use. With these toolkits, an attack could come within the organization, which is internal that could be very good a googling. This could be a threat within the school itself; this internal threat could be a student or someone in the faculty.
Internal problems could not only be intentional by someone within but instead internal by accident. Since 5G is coming in hot and all students have tablets and smartphones that run on IOS and Android, these devices must be updated regularly since they are connected to the campus network. Lastly, I believe all Linux servers should be abandoned and adopted by all Windows servers. Linux is good but does not support a campus; Linux is free and sets for beginners that hold areas for hackers to get in; Windows is much more secure and advanced.