A recent year-end report released by SentinelOne Labs shared some predictions for the threat landscape of the coming year, which include increases in attacks on Apple devices and critical infrastructure as well as the use of ransomware as an espionage tool.
The study predicted that 2015 will bring with it an influx of attacks targeting Apple’s OS X operating system. Cyber criminals haven’t focused much energy on Mac systems in the past, but a growing number of zero-day vulnerabilities emerging on the platform and the system’s increasing market share have made it a more valuable target.
Researchers also suggested that attacks on critical infrastructure will increase in the new year. Some attacks launched in 2014 were able to successfully shut down power grids for short periods and the effects on such targets will only grow more severe and destructive as attacks become more sophisticated.
One of the biggest trends affecting the cybersecurity landscape in 2015 is likely to be an increased use of ransomware, according to the report. As malicious actors realize more frequent success with the attack method, they will likely begin to employ it more often. Analysts believe ransomware could eventually be used to create a “time bomb” attack targeting enterprises in which multiple resources are taken hostage at once. After malicious software is installed on a network, the victim organizations would be forced to pay much steeper prices than the general public to retrieve its data, making it a lucrative method of cyber criminals.
Internet of Things leaving companies vulnerable
In a separate report released by Unisys, security analysts predicted that enterprises will see increase cyber activity in relation to their more frequent use of the Internet of Things, which is growing faster than organizations’ ability to protect critical data, leaving many assets vulnerable.
“As devices and items such as cars and home appliances are connected to the Internet, they present more opportunities for the bad guys to get to consumers’ private data and even into their homes,” said Dave Frymier, vice president of Unisys. “For better or worse, the cyber world is changing faster than the security models used by most organizations, and that will continue to leave us vulnerable to cybercriminals.”
Unisys researchers also suggested that, despite multiple high-profile data breaches involving major retailers in 2014, many organizations likely won’t embrace the transition to chip-embedded credit cards in their point-of-sale terminals.
Protecting against sophisticated cyberattacks
The Unisys report predicted that 2015 will bring with it a rising demand from consumers for heightened defense solutions within businesses, leading to the use of security analytics and data forensics tools.
“Cybersecurity problems will continue to exist because technology is changing at a faster rate than organizations can put security measures in place,” said Frymier. “As long as the pace of technological innovation continues at this rate, there will continue to be unhappy discoveries of vulnerabilities like Heartbleed, ShellShock and the rolling drumbeat of ‘patch Tuesday.'”
As enterprise cyber threats become more sophisticated and frequent, it will become more important than ever for businesses to employ advanced security solutions. Utilizing computer monitoring software as a complement to an Anti-Virus program is a reliable way to protect against cybercriminals and data breaches. Faronics provides companies with a layered security approach that implements both monitoring and Anti-Virus solutions to ensure businesses are well prepared to defend against the risks present in their industries.