Data security threats are breaking new ground and reinventing some of the most damaging kinds of cyber attack in history. These attacks target businesses for third party benefit, turn one of the best cyber developments of our generation into a weapon and execute elaborate cons. They are each a serious concern in 2017.
Business Process Compromises
Although a specific business suffers an attack, not all data security threats aim for that business’s assets for their final prize. Today, businesses conduct more and more communication and record keeping online. As a result, criminals hack into this data for secondary purposes. They manipulate or wield the gathered data to profit some third-party venture. This often ranges from smuggling to basic corporate espionage schemes. Since many data breaches go undetected for months or years after the initial crime, this gives criminals ample opportunity to put the information they stole to use. Moreover, because there are no immediate damages to or repercussions for the victim, businesses may not realize their data has been compromised at all.
While machine learning and artificial intelligence are bringing great changes to the world, criminals now use them to create new attacks. By using AI programs to evaluate public data, criminals can choose targets with greater specificity and accuracy. Those looking for elderly targets can access public records, and tax information helps scammers find the wealthiest potential victims. Essentially, artificial intelligence is being used as a kind of business intelligence system for cyber criminals. Although the idea of criminal BI is scary enough, what’s even more unnerving is the thought of how many new types of data security threats such powerful computing may develop.
One of the most nefarious data security threats on the web, ransomware holds computers hostage in return for a literal ransom. Thanks to the prevalence and ease of Bitcoin payment, ransomware is at an all-time high. Although it’s scary and frustrating to get locked out of your computer, the damage may not end after the ransom has been paid. Ransomware often covers illegal snooping and data theft, so anything on the infected computer may be compromised. Encryption helps, of course, but it also increases the likelihood of a scrambled system. The chances of getting your data back safe and undamaged from a ransomware attack are slim at best. Even if all appears in order, your data may be for sale.
This is one of the oldest data security threats around, but it’s no less powerful today than it was last year. Phishing uses employees’ trust to infect computers and steal information. One of the most important data security management methods in recent years has been employee training and phishing scheme alerts. Despite this, phishing is still on the rise. As Macs become more vulnerable to such attacks, it’s more important now than ever to install good email scanning software and a reliable antivirus.
In order to keep up with this range of issues, businesses need data security management methods that address various types of data security. Cyber criminals are creative. To stay safe in 2017, you will need equally creative defenses.