Top 5 IT Security Threats for 2016

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  • February 3, 2016

hackerAccording to Bev Robb, IT Consultant and Blogger for the Dell Insight Partners program, 2016 will be full of “the cyber threats that we have seen prevail” throughout 2015. Attacks will take full advantage of streamlined and automated ransomware that promises lucrative financial gain. We are also warned to expect a data breach to occur at any time and any place. Here are her top 5 IT security threats for 2016:

1. More online extortion using ransomware

Last year showed fast development and implementation of ransomware like CryptoLocker. Now, the technology is so simple that literally “a grade school child could operate it”. Robb believes that 2016 will be a year of evolution in ransomware, which is not a surprise. Hackers know that companies typically prefer to pay the ransom and keeping the attack secret rather than informing clients, partners, competitors or the government about an incident.

2. More Internet of Things (IoT) attacks

While every IT expert suspects that 2016 is finally a year of mass adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), Bev Robb supposes that worms and viruses designed to attack the IoT will be the biggest challenge for this new sub-industry.

3. More “hacktivist” activity with strategic campaigns

Next, Bev Robb predicts the growth of “hacktivist” activity in 2016. Attacks focused on stealing allegedly unethical companies’ data will increase and will be used as a means of calling attention to these issues.

4. More stealth techniques to hide evidence of attacks

New techniques to hide evidence of attacks is one of most widely discussed security threat trends for 2016. “Threat actors”, those who use the most sophisticated techniques for executing attacks succeed by exploiting a company’s own legitimate tools to compromise the system and steal data from the network.

5. More health record-related data breaches perpetrated by insiders

More companies are starting to maintain employees’ personal health data outside the healthcare sector, which means that this sensitive data is at greater risk of compromise. This offers potentially useful information for hackers and that can be leveraged for malicious purposes. Robb warns companies who collect the personal health data of their employees to pay far closer attention to insider health-related data breaches this year.

Robb goes on to say  that the threat landscape of 2016 will continue to evolve in the areas of online extortion, strategic attacks on IoT devices, more hacktivism, with more stealth techniques to hide threat actor evidence, and more insider health-related data breaches.

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