How to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals

Business Daily Kenya:  Teddy Njoroge An unprecedented number of cybersecurity incidents grabbed headlines around the world last year. Just...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Teddy Njoroge

An unprecedented number of cybersecurity incidents grabbed headlines around the world last year. Just two months into 2018 and the threat landscape is not looking any better. With the growth of Internet of Things (IoT), it is expected that they will continue to expand in scope and volume as cybercriminals evolve and diversify. But arming ourselves with facts and experience, will better help us to stay ahead of cyber criminals.

The cybersecurity industry continues to maintain an effective posture on the back of a growing body of knowledge and insights into the threat landscape. In this regard a few things stand out that we must watch out for.

With data now being touted as perhaps the most valuable asset available for sale, ransomware is poised to remain in great demand among cybercriminals. Largely indiscriminate, ransomware campaigns remain perhaps the most lucrative avenue for cybercriminals.

Of course organisations seen as willing to pay up in lieu of strengthening their cyber defences may run the risk of finding themselves a target of choice, with no guarantee of ever getting their data back.

In a world of smartphones and other mobile and smart devices, ransomware attackers may also choose to focus on denying the use of these devices as opposed to capturing the data stored therein. It is therefore paramount that addressing the attendant cyber treats not be left as an afterthought.

Closely related to this is that attacks aimed at critical infrastructure are set to continue. Worryingly, Industroyer – the biggest threat to industrial control systems since the Stuxnet malware – is in wide use. This is primarily because many industrial equipment now targeted or falling victim to the malware were not designed with internet connectivity in mind.

Although important, prompt upgrades including software and hardware updates are rarely undertaken for these infrastructure due to costs, end of life exigencies among other reasons, thus introducing additional weaknesses in the threat profile.

Another area where security is playing catch-up with technological advancements is in electronic voting systems that face numerous vulnerabilities when it comes to cybersecurity. The preponderance of evidence that such systems can be manipulated highlights the risks of over-reliance on technology for something as significant for societal progress such as elections.

Admittedly, such attacks may not signal doomsday for democracy, yet technological interference poses critical challenges in ensuring the legitimacy of future elections. To this end, all aspects of an electoral system must be regarded as part of every country’s critical infrastructure, and be safeguarded accordingly.

The monetisation of user data in exchange for “free” online services is also set to persist this year. This will add to risks associated with data privacy, already under fierce attack given the plethora of IoT devices around the world. – The writer is Country Manager of internet Security firm, ESET Kenya

The post How to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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