The Biggest Computer Security Threats in 2016

A short 10 years ago, computer security was an issue facing IT departments. That issue is still as dominant in 2016, but the nature of attacks are much more sophisticated and intensive. Here are the biggest computer security threats we see in the upcoming year:

  1. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks and resulting data breaches. There are some experts who believe DDoS attacks are a smokescreen for more malicious data breaches. DDoS is evolving into smaller strikes that cause security vulnerabilities leaving data at risk. Also, tools for automating DDoS attacks widen the threat of attacks on companies, with hacks occurring simultaneously and fast.
  2. Social malware. Phishing will still be a computer security risk in 2016, but it’s getting more sophisticated, too. Entire fraudulent websites offering customer support and even mobile applications are entries for attackers through remote connection to compromise users’ systems. Malware in social media like SnapChat and Instagram will help broaden attackers’ reach.
  3. Insider threat. These are the most dangerous types of network threats. Insiders have the ability to cause the most damage because they gain access using legitimate credentials. Insiders, for various reasons, can exploit network security in ways that are difficult to predict. This type of threat can even reach outside of your organization to vendors, suppliers, or contractors.
  4. Ransomware. Even the FBI is advising that it’s easier to pay the ransom to get your data back than it is to fight. And most users are willing to pay a ransom that’s not excessive to get their precious data back. Ransomware is likely to target corporate networks more heavily in 2016, as attackers expect corporations to be able to pay higher ransoms than individuals.
  5. Mobile payments. With Apple Pay and Google Play becoming ever popular, cyber risk will shift to your smartphone. As more and more use their smartphone to make mobile payments, expect the hackers to follow the money and devise clever programs to take advantage of less attention given to security on smartphones.
  6. Cloud attacks. Businesses are shifting away from the large IT departments and utilizing cloud storage and SaaS resources. This will shift attention to a new cyber security learning curve. As cloud attacks happen, new technologies will surface to secure data in complex, multi-homed environments.

As an answer to the evolving and growing cyber security environment, the CSO and CISO roles are changing. Computer security and cyber risk security are becoming board-level initiatives that require an extensive set of skills that go beyond mere compliance issues. These roles are shifting from a technical lead to more of a business risk leader.

CIO Magazine recently reported that to respond to computer security issues in 2016, companies need to build “a team of trusted advisors, including internal and external partners.” Further, companies should attack weak computer security by conducting a series of cyber security tests targeted at communication, threat assessment, and risk mitigation.

If you’d like to read more information about cyber security risk assessment, download the free e-Book “How to Assess Cyber Security Risks & Ensure Compliance” from TBConsulting. Or contact one of our experts today to discuss your security needs.