Data breaches in 2016 were not unexpected as cyber security experts had already made predictions for a year full of cyber warfare. There were hacking of presidential candidates and security dangers posed by the Internet of Things, ransomware, complex malware being sold by cybercriminals to less sophisticated cybercriminals, data breaches in the health care industry and the explosion of “spear phishing” as a method of initiating cybercrimes.
Given this state, it’s no wonder that cybercrime is bad – and it’s going to get worse. During 2016 there were several indications of what might be more prevalent in 2017.
1. Savvy attackers will use their ability to hack information systems to cause long-term, reputational damage to individuals or groups through the erosion of trust in the data itself.
2. Growth of the business model in which criminal cyber geniuses use the Dark Web to sell and lease malware — ransomware, botnets and the tech support necessary to effectively perpetrate massive cybercrimes. — to less savvy cybercriminals.
3. Ransomware attacks will increase and evolve to include taking control of companies’ computer-operated systems.
4. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks such as we saw in October that temporarily took down Amazon, Twitter, Netflix and others will increase, fueled by botnets of infected computers.
5. IoT devices will serve as a growing entry point for external attackers wanting to gain access to private networks. Potential targets include hospitals, manufacturing companies and any facilities security cameras or climate control systems.
6. Cybersecurity of cars and medical devices in particular will become major issues in 2017.