According to a report released today by global cybersecurity leader ESET, cybersecurity incidents and risks are predicted to grow even further in 2018. The report titled “Cybersecurity Trends 2018: The Cost of our Connected World” compiled by ESET security experts, presents topics that will be of interest to everyone following an increase in, and sophistication of, cybersecurity incidents in 2017.
The report focuses on ransomware, attacks on critical infrastructure, malware and combating criminal activity, as well as the cyber threats posed to electoral campaigns and data privacy.
While examining the ransomware revolution and the fact that many companies are still prepared to spend large sums in ransom payment as opposed to investing in their cyber defenses, the report warns that this unsustainable trend is likely to continue in 2018.
Stephen Cobb, Senior Security Researcher at ESET, who predicted increased attacks on critical infrastructure as a 2017 trend, anticipates further threats to supply chains in 2018, saying: “While many large companies appear to be taking cybersecurity more seriously these days, with security teams getting both the budget and the C-level backing required to do a good job, many smaller businesses supplying goods and services to larger organizations are struggling. That makes them an attractive target.”
ESET’s successful collaboration with Microsoft, Europol and the FBI led to the arrest of cybercriminals involved in the Gamarue botnet. In the report, ‘Doing time for cybercrime: police and malware research join force’ demonstrates the importance of security companies and law enforcement working together to contribute to making the Internet a safer place for everyone, except cybercriminals.
The vulnerability of elections was emphasized in 2017 as major voting events took place around the world. Can votes cast by an electorate be tampered with, and can an electorate be swayed in the run up to an election by hacktivists working to change public opinion? Countries should invest in preventative measures in 2018 to safeguard the digital security of the democratic process.
The General Data Protection Regulation(s) comes into force in May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Directive and increasing the legislative concern surrounding data privacy. In the report, ESET security expert Tony Anscombe focuses on user-awareness of data collection, the risks faced by data collected through the Internet of Things (IoT), and the significant fines for companies that fail to protect personal data.
Technological innovations and their use in 2017 have produced remarkable possibilities in the digital world, while also exposing users to new kinds of threats. This year we have seen cybercriminals focus their attacks on sensitive and private information. 2018 is the year users need to increase their awareness of cyber threats and manage their digital world more responsibly.
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