Current Threats In The Cyber World

CyberWorld

The last few years brought new development and growth in the cybersecurity industry, which has reduced the wide-net approach implemented by ill-intentioned organizations and individuals. Due to the latest security technologies, both businesses and individuals can now use better defenses like the 2-factor authentication method, data encryption, or a layered approach that works at a deeper level.

However, this didn't exactly discourage ill-intentioned organizations and individuals. In fact, a quick look at 2019's numbers in terms of cyberattacks (check out the snapshot below), shows that hackers are better focused on specific targets that are expected to have a lower degree of defense (such as governmental institutions or the healthcare industry).

institutions

But the recent data leaks are not only caused by malicious attacks. In many cases, the breach happened because of low-level security practices (if any) and unintentional human error. Even so, the new year brings a fresh wave of cyberthreats that we need to be wary of.

Threats to Keep an Eye On

New Kits & Macros

There are new Exploit Kits (EKs) that circulate on the market, as a replacement of the older versions. This leaves out-of-date software exposed and vulnerable in front of better-designed malicious software.

Some new EKs use file-less attacks (no need to download the malicious software on the disc) and most of them are ransomware. There are also EKs that act in the router, changing DNS settings so users are redirected towards phishing and malicious websites.

Lastly, one of the weak points in IT security is represented by the use of document files with Visual Basic Applications macros. While the MS Office installation sets macros on disabled by default, threat actors manage to trick users into activating them.

Ransomware Attacks

2019 was a bad year for organizations that didn't pay enough attention to their cybersecurity. As such, we saw major data breaches in the healthcare sector, governmental institutions, factories, police stations, and even power grids. The losses were major as well, but these breaches highlighted the vulnerability of vital systems at a worldwide level.

Of course, besides the focus on the healthcare sector, attackers also send ransomware attacks towards the final user, who is the ideal target.

Attacks via HTTPS Traffic

New malware kits use transport layer security (TLS) and secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption standards to mask the attack and prevent traditional security controls from identifying it. According to the 2019 SonicWall Capture Labs report, we saw a 27.3% overall increase in attacks over TLS/SSL traffic.

IoT and Web App

The use of IoT powered devices (nanny cams, doorbell apps, and more) led to an increase in the security of these devices but of the attacks as well. According to the same SonicWall Capture Labs report, 2019 registered around 34.3 million attacks and 2020 is expected to come up with much more due to the increasing number of interconnected devices.

The development of web apps (such as Office 365, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more) created a better world for end-users who have faster and easier access to their data and tools. However, there's always a different side to the coin and this time it shows in an increase of attacks directed towards web apps. According to "The Ten Most Critical Web Application Security Risks" published by Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) there are several potential risks that can become powerful if the organization/business/end-user doesn't follow powerful security protocols.

What's There To Do?

At first glance, things are quite scary, but we shouldn't allow threat actors and their malicious intent to stop us from our jobs. Sadly, there is no one solution to this problem. In fact, the solution has multiple levels and requires constant supervision and action from a cybersecurity point of view.

If you would like your IT security reviewed, contact your IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) or speak with us at Onsite Helper to make sure your well protected in the future.