Dynamic Security Battlefield with evolving technology

Growing technology has certainly made us tech-slaves. Internet being the part and parcel of our lives, it affects us in various ways. No matter how much it has made our life easy, it does pose serious security threats which makes it a daily battle between data thieves and data defenders. It is imperative to know that even a small household can have so many devices like internet modem, Mobile phones, cameras, tv, voice-operated gadgets, radio, Wi-Fi Routers, etc. which all relate to the Internet in one or the other way thus making it “The Internet of Things “(IoT). As ‘smart’ as it sounds, these devices are at a constant threat cliff, making them easy to hack and be misused if not protected well. 

The memories of the infamous DYN attack in 2016, wherein a major DNS service provider faced DDOS attack which disrupted multiple sites including Airbnb, Netflix, PayPal, Visa, Amazon, The New York Times, Reedit, and GitHub are still afresh. An attack of this type is only possible with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT).

 Criminals are increasingly using the vulnerabilities in the software and devices to steal information and sabotage business and administrative processes, making loads of money in the process The dangers posed by blackmail programs, particularly – “Ransomware”, used to encrypt data and then only release it in exchange for a ransom – has significantly intensified. Even during tough times like today when the world is fighting with the COVID pandemic, hackers have even made use of this crisis to sabotage more and more organizations.

Amidst this transformation, and increased data flow, companies have now been paying a lot of attention to cybersecurity, though their strategies still lack, and the team of defenders is, in many aspects, way behind the hackers. It’s not merely the lack of budget, but also a severe shortage of cybersecurity professionals, that increases the stakes higher than ever before, warn experts.

 The cybercrime epidemic even risks a shake of public faith in such prized ideals like democracy and personal privacy. “Honestly, we’re all at risk,” says Heather Ricciuto of IBM Security to cnbc.com, “whether you’re talking about a large enterprise or an individual.

 Below are some of the most emerging cyber threats:

  • Ransomware: These days every other organization is impacted by ransomware. The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is credited with helping to fuel ransomware attacks by allowing ransom demands to be paid anonymously.
  • Phishing: Gone are those days when the phishing emails could be identified easily by a few characteristics like spelling errors and senders etc. the hackers have up the ante and personally a well-crafted phishing email can sometimes be very difficult for a security professional to identify let alone any normal user.
  • Cloud Jacking: Almost all the businesses have been moving to the cloud and this has made Cloud jacking one of the most prominent threats for 2020. Since all the data is already available over the internet the only thing preventing it from falling in the hands of malicious users is the configuration. It can sometimes be a piece of cake due to misconfiguration or can even attack like cross-site scripting, where malicious codes are injected either directly or using a third-party library.
  • Internet of things (IoT): The fact that a majority of the new IoT devices are still in their early stages means that there’s a much larger attack surface for cybercriminals to target the vulnerabilities associated with these novel technologies. Besides, it is extremely difficult to develop cybersecurity strategies to keep up with the rapid emergence of new IoT devices.

 In conclusion, it can be said that the security landscape in the current times is going to be challenging, weird, and intense. Also, the slew of new technologies will prove to be challenging. We need more skilled professionals and at the same time, make our users aware of basic Cyber hygiene and be attentive to the modern threat

By Akshat Jain
Security Specialist, Accenture
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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