How Cyber Threats will Affect Business This Year

By:  |  Category: Blog, Security Friday, February 2nd, 2018  |  No Comments
Cyber Threats

As cyber attacks continue to thwart business and grow at an aggressive rate, companies are adopting new measures to address cybersecurity risk holistically, integrating it more aggressively into their enterprise risk management, according to insurance broker Aon’s cyber specialists in the firm’s 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions report.

The report highlights specific actions that Aon suggests companies will take in 2018 to address cyber threats.

“In 2017, cyber attackers created havoc through a range of levers, from phishing attacks that influenced political campaigns to ransomware cryptoworms that infiltrated operating systems on a global scale. With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), we have also witnessed a proliferation of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on IoT devices, crippling the device’s functionality,” said Jason J. Hogg, CEO, Aon Cyber Solutions.

Hogg said Aon’s specialists expect heightened cyber exposure due to a convergence of three trends: companies’ increasing reliance on technology; regulators’ intensified focus on protecting consumer data; and the rising value of non-physical assets.

“Heightened exposure will require an integrated cybersecurity approach to both business culture and risk management frameworks,” he said. “Leaders must adopt a coordinated, C-suite driven approach to cyber risk management, enabling them to better assess and mitigate risk across all enterprise functions.”

Here are five ways Aon’s researchers see cyber risks and cybersecurity playing out during this year:

Criminals look to attack businesses embracing the Internet of Things, in particular targeting small to mid-sized businesses providing services to global organizations. In 2018, global organizations will need to consider the increased complexities when it comes to how businesses are using the IoT in relation to third-party risk management. The report predicts large companies will be brought down by an attack on a small vendor or contractor that targets the IoT, using it as a way into their network. This will serve as a wake-up call for large organizations to update their third-party risk management, and for small and mid-sized businesses to implement better security measures or risk losing business.

As passwords continue to be hacked, and attackers circumvent physical biometrics, multi-factor authentication becomes more important than ever before. Beyond passwords, companies are implementing new methods of authentication – from facial recognition to fingerprints. However, these technologies are still vulnerable and as such, the report anticipates that a new wave of companies will embrace multi-factor authentication to combat the assault on passwords and attacks targeting biometrics. This will require individuals to present several pieces of evidence to an authentication instrument. With the new need for multi-factor authentication, and consumer demand for unobtrusive layers of security, expect to see the implementation of behavioral biometrics.

Criminals will target transactions that use reward points as currency, spurring mainstream adoption of bug bounty programs: Companies beyond the technology, government, automotive and financial services sectors will introduce bug bounty platforms into their security programs. As criminals target transactions that use points as currency, businesses with loyalty, gift and rewards programs –such as airlines, retailers, and hospitality providers– will be the next wave of companies implementing bug bounty programs. As more organizations adopt the programs, they will require support from external experts to avoid introducing new risks with improperly configured programs.

Ransomware attackers get targeted; cryptocurrencies help ransomware industry flourish. In 2018, ransomware criminals will evolve their tactics. The reports predicts that attackers utilizing forms of benign malware—such as software designed to cause DDoS attacks or launch display ads on thousands of systems— will launch huge outbreaks of ransomware. While attackers will continue to launch scatter-gun-style attacks to disrupt as many systems as possible, the report predicts an increase in instances of attacks targeting specific companies and demanding ransomware payments proportional to the value of the encrypted assets. Cryptocurrencies will continue to support the flourishing ransomware industry overall, despite law enforcement becoming more advanced in their ability to trace attacks, for example through bitcoin wallets.

Insider risks plague organizations as they underestimate their severe vulnerability and liability while major attacks fly under the radar. In 2017, businesses underinvested in proactive insider risk mitigation strategies, and 2018 will be no different. According to the report, a continued lack of security training and technical controls, coupled with the changing dynamics of the modern workforce, the full extent of cyber attacks and incidents caused by insiders will not become fully public. Many companies will continue to reactively respond to incidents behind closed doors and remain unaware of the true cost and impact of insider risk on the organization.

Source: Aon 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions report

Samantha Keller

Samantha Keller

Director of Marketing and PR at EnhancedTECH
Samantha Keller (AKA Sam) is a published author, tech-blogger, event-planner and mother of three fabulous humans. Samantha has worked in the IT field for the last fifteen years, intertwining a freelance writing career along with technology sales, events and marketing. She began working for EnhancedTECH ten years ago after earning her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and attending Fuller Seminary. She is a lover of kickboxing, extra-strong coffee, and Wolfpack football.Her regular blog columns feature upcoming tech trends, cybersecurity tips, and practical solutions geared towards enhancing your business through technology.
Samantha Keller
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