The past year has brought about a number of dramatic twists and turns in the world of cyber threats and cybersecurity trends. As quickly as security experts were able to find ways to reduce risks for one type of cyber attack, cyber criminals were back with a new method. Experts hoped 2018 would be better than previous years, and while some types of cyber attacks decreased in frequency, they certainly did not decrease in effectiveness. Data breaches and leaks were especially prevalent throughout the year, leading consumers to feel uneasy about trusting any organization with their sensitive information.
Unfortunately, 2019 isn’t poised to look any better in terms of reducing cyber threats against organizations and individuals. In fact, experts anticipate even more advancements in cyber attacks that are likely to increase the severity of each successful breach. Looking ahead, let’s explore what cybersecurity is predicted to look like in 2019.
Data in Transit: A Major Target
Cyber criminals have successfully been exploiting private networks and IoT devices for several years now, as these tend to have poor security controls. Most e-commerce sites have moved away from storing credit card CVV numbers in an attempt to reduce data breaches, and while it has certainly made a difference in that area, it has led cyber attackers to redirect their efforts.
As businesses and individuals now almost exclusively share data over mobile devices, data in transit has become a prime target for cyber criminals. Malware inserted into a router or on a website can steal banking credentials, capture credit card numbers and otherwise lead a user to compromise confidential information while simply making an online transaction. The same can be said for the enterprise side as well, as malware and “formjacking” can compromise third-party suppliers and lead an organization to give away their own sensitive financial information.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Becoming a Tool on Both Sides
AI-powered systems are already in use in many areas of business operations, especially in sales and customer service. These systems are designed to helpfully automate certain tasks and enhance the customer experience, but they also create unique new cybersecurity risks. For one, if not constantly monitored, these systems can become susceptible to malicious input that can corrupt their design and affect their operations. Additionally, cyber criminals may begin to use AI to make phishing and other social engineering attacks even more sophisticated through the creation of extremely realistic video and audio footage or well-crafted email or messaging conversations designed to fool targeted individuals.
However, AI and other technologies may also be able to help better protect digital security and privacy. AI can be embedded into networks and devices to help warn users when certain actions are inherently risky, and over time, security-based AI may help people better understand cyber liability in general.
As 2019 begins, more cybersecurity threats and exposures will continue to surface and evolve. It’s clear that cyber criminals aren’t backing down any time soon, so businesses and individuals have to remain educated and vigilant. Insurance agents can help their clients protect themselves against cyber attacks by sharing news about cyber security trends and emphasizing the importance of cyber liability insurance in keeping sensitive information out of the wrong hands in 2019 and beyond.
About Highland Risk Services
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