Internet Security Predictions for 2015
Each year, Websense Security Labs releases a report with predictions regarding the computer and Internet security landscape for the coming year. This year’s 13 pages of prognostications contain some expected prophecies, and some surprising ones. Read on to stay ahead of the curve…
Internet Security 2015 - What Lies Ahead?
It's one thing to predict the future. But it's quite another to get it right. Looking back at the last year's version of the Websense Security Predictions report, seven of the eight threat predictions they made last year were spot on. And the Websense 2015 Security Predictions report is already proving to be an accurate indicator of things to come.
The first prediction for this year was related to Healthcare organizations. According to Websense, they will experience more attacks from data-stealing hackers. Medical records and patient data accounted for 43% of major data breaches reported in 2013, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Healthcare databases are rich in Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that hackers can use in identity theft or future phishing attacks, and they are often linked to exploitable financial data as well.
Drum roll, please… Last week, Anthem, the second-largest health insurance provider in the USA, was breached by hackers. Tens of millions of customer records were stolen, which included names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers.
Continuing with the list of Websense predictions…
Credit card data thieves will become consumer profile brokers. As the amount of bogus purchases that can be made before a stolen card is deactivated declines, crooks will turn to collating data stolen from multiple sources to create a consumer profile that is more valuable than any credit card’s data.
Your refrigerator will not be the target of identity thieves, but your utility company may be. The Internet of Things will spawn a vast array of new “attack surfaces,” but crooks will most target businesses rather than consumers.
Mobile devices will increasingly be targeted by hackers, but not with the intent to steal data stored on the devices. Thieves will be after identity credentials that provide access to cloud-based services and corporate networks.
New vulnerabilities will be found in decades-old open source code that is widely used and taken for granted. Found by security researchers, that is; it is likely that bad guys (and probably the Men With Dark Glasses) have been exploiting vulnerabilities such as Heartbleed, Shellshock, and OpenSSL for years. These recent security scandals have focused attention on old software that was developed by volunteers and never formally supported. It won’t be surprising if more flaws are found.
Email users can expect to see more spam getting through to their inboxes. While the total volume of spam sent out is declining, the bad guys are getting better at evading anti-spam solutions. In fact, they aren’t even using spam in the ways that anti-spam software is designed to detect. Instead of trying to get readers to click on links or open attachments, spam is now used to verify recipients, test login credentials, and effectively do reconnaissance for more advanced future attacks.
Google Docs and other well-known, trusted Web services will be invaded by botnet masters seeking better places to hide their command-and-control operations. Corporate and personal firewalls that may block sketchy unknown sites generally allow communications emanating from name-brand domains, so that’s where the bad guys want to establish their covert headquarters.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
It's a scary world online, and the cyberattacks seem to be escalating. But you can protect yourself from all these threats, if you use my advice found in these related articles:
- Protect Your Computer With Free Anti-Virus Software
- Is Your Password Strong Enough?
- SECURITY TIP: Two Factor Authentication
- WOW: Surprising Stats on Phishing
- 10 TIPS: Identity Theft Protection
- Time to Start Encrypting Your Stuff?
I encourage you to read (or re-read) each of the above articles to make sure you've done all that you can to protect your computer and your personal information. And would you do me a favor? Please pass along this article to a friend or family member, and encourage them to sign up for the AskBob newsletter.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 9 Feb 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Internet Security Predictions for 2015 (Posted: 9 Feb 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved