Another year is here. 2019 has just started and it is likely to shape up to be an eventful year for cybersecurity. Last year, in our 2018 predictions, we analyzed the year ahead and shortlisted various cybersecurity trends which we thought would play a major part in 2018 – these included threat prevention, Internet of Things (IoT), Anti-Ransomware Tools, Cloud Security, Automation, and Incident Response Plan.
Of course, 2018 turned out to be a year with some headline-grabbing cyber attacks, which included the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach, another data breach at Facebook, a hacking at India’s Cosmos Bank, a data breach at British Airways and also at UnderArmour with GDPR also being a key trend.
5G and its impact
The newest trend in mobile telephony nowadays is 5G. Many major cellular companies are spearheading this new technology and 5G will see leaps and bounds in 2019. However, as with the advent of any new technology, cyber criminals will also join the bandwagon to ensure they create chaos and profit. 5G will likely have different types of phones, different networks and a completely different kind of technology which will open up new vulnerabilities. At this early juncture, early adopters should be extremely careful.
Supply chain attacks
There is an increasing risk that cyber attacks will target supply chains right at the very root as they know that this will make their scope of targets much larger. Supply chain attacks would go right to the root of products and services, would be very difficult to detect and be pushed out to all the consumers. Recent news reports suggested that China had embedded microchips with backdoors in its servers which were then sold to the US. While these reports have obviously been denied, it’s an example of how this threat could become even more pronounced this year.
Cryptojacking is a dangerous new threat which threatens to cause havoc in 2019. Considering the widespread popularity of cryptocurrency, this threat is likely to become even more popular among cyber criminals. It works by hackers send unsuspecting targets emails with malicious code in them. Or they embed this code into sketchy websites on which targets can click. The hacker succeeds if he/she gets the required click because this malicious code is installed on the target computer. Now this malicious code works in the background, silently mining cryptocurrency. This takes up a lot of computer resources so this can often mean the computer runs extremely slowly, crashes often and does not work to its earlier capacity, frustrating the users.
Elections, elections, elections
The world is still reeling from the many accusations of meddling and interference in elections in the last few years. 2019 sees election in many big democracies, including India. The US will also see primaries being held to decide presidential contenders in 2020, the European Union will choose its representatives in the European Parliament and there could even be a second referendum to decide Brexit. It’s highly likely that the scale of election meddling within various states, from parties both within and outside, could make major headlines in this year.
Spear phishing becomes deadlier
We are already aware of spear phishing, a form of phishing where users attackers send meticulously personalized but fake mails to targets and entice them to hand over classified information. This year could see even smarter, better targeted spear phishing attacks. Attackers will even more closely examine their targets and gather as much information about them to ensure their email is as believable as possible. This could be done by employing Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) to entire systems, gather humongous amounts of data about enterprise and customer habits, and then use this data to launch a spear phishing campaign mail.
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