It’s a new year, and with it comes a huge wave of security predictions for 2018. According to cybersecurity experts, we should prepare ourselves for new forms of malware, more expensive ransomware, IoT (Internet of Things) issues in our homes, more cloud computing breaches.
Why should you care? Because it’s important for all of us to understand how to protect ourselves and our private information. To flip the old adage on its head, sometimes the best offense is a great defense.
IoT device insecurity
The Internet of Things connects common household appliances and other devices we use every day to the Internet. While this may be cool and helpful (who doesn’t want a refrigerator that emails us when we are running out of milk?) it also opens up these appliances to hackers.
Most IoT devices have little or no security. Trend Micro says that cybercriminals will continue to find new ways to exploit the lack of security inherent to most IoT devices. In some cases, these IoT devices may even allow these criminals access to our home networks.
IBM is reporting that ransomware will even lock up these IoT devices, forcing us to pay money before we can use them again.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) attacks will increase
Symantec is predicting that in 2018, cybercriminals will begin to use AI for the first time to attack and exploit our home networks.
Connected home devices will gather our data with or without our consent
McAfee predicts that connected home devices (like Amazon’s Echo) will make up for thin profits by collecting and selling the data they collect on us to other companies.
How many of us actually read the privacy agreements anyway? Companies frequently change these and are rarely held accountable for breaching them. MacAfee believes that companies will make calculated gambles to do this even if they have to pay fines, believing that they can still make a profit even if they are caught breaking the law.
Explosion of malware on Android apps
Sophos is reporting that this year will see a huge increase in malware embedded in Android apps.
And finally, WiFi hacking will continue to be a constant threat
WatchGuard, a cybersecurity firm, believes that WiFi hacking will continue to be an ever-present threat. With tools like the WiFi Pineapple, even amateurs will be able to attack unsecure WiFi networks.
Ominously, new tools to hack WiFi are created every day. Software defined radio (SDR) lets hackers listen in to a broad range of wireless frequencies, not just WiFi.
How to protect yourself
Below are some tips to help protect yourself from these and other online threats:
- Use strong passwords and change them often
- Use two-step verification on all of your accounts
- Keep all of your software updated with the most recent releases and patches
- Be careful what you post on social media
- Use a VPN like Private WiFi on public WiFi
As we begin this new year, let’s take some time to think about what we can do to help safeguard our digital world. A little prevention can save a lot of pain later.