It’s hard to predict what the future holds, especially in the world of Cyber Security – but here we are going to attempt to outline what some of the threats are going to be.
Crackdown on GDPR
2018 saw the introduction of GDPR but we have yet to see the first big fine issued under the new regulations. Information Commissioners across Europe have all reported big increases in the number of companies reporting data breaches to them since the 25th of May and this is likely to continue. With high profile attacks such as the one against British Airways happening this year and investigations continuing in to Facebook as a result of the Cambridge Analytical scandal, it’s only a matter of time before we see that first headline grabbing fine.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
The big thing that a lot of Cyber Security companies are all talking about is the ability to use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help defend us from attacks. 2019 could be the year that the Cyber Criminals also start turning to these techniques to help cause greater chaos and evade detection.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. We are connecting more and more devices to the internet for productivity and convenience but still, many of these devices lack some basic security. In September 2018 California passed a Cyber Security law covering “smart” devices. From 2020 this law states that any device that connects to the internet must be equipped with “reasonable security features” - maybe 2019 will be the year that we see governments passing more regulations with regards to IoT. Certainly the attackers know that these devices can be an easy target and 2019 could be the year of more IoT focussed attacks.
Ransomware has been a popular focus for the criminals over the last few years. Typically, the attacks have been blanket attacks but in the coming year these attacks may become more focused on specific targets looking for large pay outs. We may see specific companies being targeted or more industry specific attacks.
Crypto Jacking Malware
The Cyber Criminals seem to be moving more towards Crypto Jacking malware. This is where criminals implant software on websites and computers that will ‘mine’ for digital currencies. This has an advantage over Ransomware as the user is unlikely to notice that they have been infected as the program runs in the background. The user may notice that their device is slower than normal. The criminals can build large networks of infected computers to do the work for them and, unlike Ransomware, the user may never notice.
Updating our Systems
Finally, Windows 7 reaches the end of its life cycle in January 2020. This means that any Windows 7 computers still being used will no longer receive the all-important security updates that Microsoft issue on a regular basis. Hopefully 2019 will be the year that people finally migrate to more up to date systems such as Windows 10. If they don’t then things will be really interesting in 2020!