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2016 is now a thing of the past. Last year we saw new cyber threats emerge and existing ones on the rise. Unfortunately 2016 does not appear to be a fluke and now 2017 is primed to face even more threats. Luckily that does not mean that all is lost, we can use the trends and knowledge from last year to help predict threats and be prepared for the coming year to protect ourselves and our businesses from hackers.

Looking at 2016 hacking became more of a mainstream and regular occurrence in the public eye. Between the ransomware attacks and talk about it throughout the election you could not avoid the topic even if you wanted to. 2017 is likely to be the year where hacking becomes more creative. Since more people are aware of threats it becomes more difficult for hackers to break in through traditional methods. New technology and connected devices open new doors, and this, along with some creativity could become a focus for exploiting new ways to gain entry into your computer systems. New ways that could put more people at risk…

As mentioned before ransomware will continue to be on the rise. Throughout the past year we’ve had various articles about ransomware with new and different methods and targets featured in our newsletter. That is unlikely to end. In fact a recent article we had about the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency where their systems were frozen and they had to let people ride for free. This is an example of where ransomware might lead, a trend in delivering virus payloads that can infect hundreds of machines quickly.

There is also the threat of IoT (internet of things) connected devices as we have talked about too. We saw the attack that shut down part of the internet by using these devices vulnerabilities. This is certainly a concerning area of security because it is hard to protect ALL of the devices out there, and new ones are coming out all the time leaving the manufacturers to provide the security measures for their own devices. Consumer devices are not the only ones susceptible to attacks either. More industrial organizations are using internet connected devices to drive their operations as well.

As we are finding ways to protect us from external threats there is also the possibility for hackers to find different ways into a network. This could come in the form of internal threats. It might not be someone internally who is in fact the hacker, but hackers could exploit individuals with threats they can use to manipulate someone (such as something that could compromise their employment) or through social engineering.

No matter what year it is the threat of hackers is always a little scary, but there are measures that you can take to in order to better protect yourself and your business. Having a plan and security measures in place can help to secure your network as well as vulnerability tests to see where weaknesses might lie. If you are ever concerned about the security of your network let us know we are here to help.