Expect to See More of These Five Online Security Threats

11/11/2015 - 17:06

Dan Radak | @DanRadak

People have shared a lot of their personal life online and are seemingly always on the internet. New research shows that young adults spend an average of five hours a day on their smartphones. Not to mention, most all businesses utilize the internet for various purposes from communications to data storage. In a way, this dynamic has changed the rules of the online security game and there are constantly new attacks and threats.

The best way to stay protected is to be one step ahead and predict the next threat in order to avoid it. Here are several brief examples of expected threats in the future.

Pressure of Government Agencies

There has been an increased pressure from government agencies targeting different servers and providers to release some personal data at their disposal. We can all expect for this trend to be on the rise. However, some positive steps forward to regulate online behavior have been made. The EU General Data Protection regulation is being prepared, so this may bring some positive changes in terms of privacy. Furthermore, a simple Google will show you the constant battle governments seem to have against encryption. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is at the forefront trying to help ensure your online safety and freedom.

Health Organizations under Attack

Since health organizations have an incredible amount of data about people, it is expected that these institutions will be facing many more targeted attacks. That info can be sold on the dark web for blackmail, extortion, etc. and that is why these organizations need proper cybersecurity protocols in place. The selling of this 'stolen' data is very expensive on the black market. There was a recent large security breach in August that affected over 3.9 million people. This trend sadly will continue into the future until these organizations get held responsible for their poor security and data breaches.

Growing Connectivity

The continued rise of the Internet of Things and various mobile devices people use in everyday life is allowing for more potential vulnerabilities. They are connected directly to most everything related to our private lives. The ever increasing number of such devices and the increased interconnectivity will make the security breaches more frequent and easier. Businesses must acknowledge this trend and proactively setup the proper cybersecurity measures.

The New and Increased Bot Usage

Human to machine and machine to machine interaction will increase because of the growing needs for automated processes with the rise of data. Big data takes a lot of processing power and energy to get analyzed, transferred and moved in any way. After a device has been infected by malware, the entire process of using bots relies on this malware reporting back to its creator, so that they can give them further orders and instructions. A big part of this type of threat is building a bot network, called a botnet. That is why more and more automated processes which rely on machine to machine communication, will be more prone to this type of infection. A computer can be infected by a bot in many ways. Usually, computers with low levels of protection are targeted. Therefore, it is essential that, if you deal with clients through your website, you need to have an excellent SSL certificate as a part of your web hosting service offering. This will help prevent bot attacks and send them on their way. Also, Let's Encrypt is a new certificate authority that is free and hopes for all web traffic to be encrypted one day.


New Payment Options

As potential security risks and vulnerabilities continue to rise, payment options will evolve. Qkey is one of those new ideas and it does so by utilizing three-factor authentication. It works similarly to European credit cards with an integrated chip that is protected by a PIN and password. Once inserted into the reader, the corresponding data is analyzed and confirmed enabling its use.

Apple Pay has been helping the future adoption of mobile payments and a cashless society. However, Bitcoin has been the vanguard of alternative payment forms. Many institutions are looking at utilizing the blockchain aspect of Bitcoin right now from IBM to the top global banks. It will be a very interesting development to watch play out.

Online security threats will rise in 2016, but there will also be many new solutions for them. From new protocols, certificates, and encryption, whoever takes their business and online security seriously will prevail. There will be a great need for appropriate legislation concerning privacy and we need to ensure we do our part to make that happen.

Images credit: Flickr / Perspecsys Photos