Cybercrime Predictions for 2017

Wondering what next year holds as far as the biggest cyber threats?

TechRepublic Writer Dan Patterson spoke in October 2016 with Sameer Dixit about his 2017 cybercrime predictions. Dixit is the senior director of security consulting at cybersecurity firm Spirent.

The story lists five areas Dixit is most concerned about:

  • Espionage is at the the top of the list, not surprising considering some of what’s gone on this past year with the DNC email hacks, etc.
  • Second on the list? Industrial control systems, which control things like water, electricity, natural gas and waste treatment. These “prime targets” weren’t designed with cyber security in mind, and so remain vulnerable, according to Dixit.
  • With innovation comes new threats, which is why security concerns associated with Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to increase. Now that everyday, seemingly innocuous items like refrigerators, cars, thermostats and the like are compiling, using and sometimes even sending data, there are new ways for cybercriminals to not only invade our privacy, but also breach networks. Each new connected device is a pathway in that could allow thieves to get to the rest of your network, if you’re not safe.
  • Ransomware attacks are now “mainstream,” Dixit says, and will “continue to be a major threat,” especially in light of new methods that exploit web servers.
  • And what about car hacking? Yep, it’s a thing, and it’s expected to increase. Likely targets include “attacks on vehicle access systems, engine control units (ECUs), remote key systems, V2X receivers, USBs,” etc.

So what should a person do in light of these threats? Check out the story for all seven tips, but here are a few good ones:

  • Restrict user permissions.
  • Require users have strong passwords. No more pets name followed by your birth year.
  • Update everything: Operating systems, antivirus software, browsers and more.  

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