Looking Into the Tech Crystal Ball to Find the Next Big Cybersecurity Threats

Looking Into the Tech Crystal Ball to Find the Next Big Cybersecurity Threats

The cybersecurity landscape is always changing. The malware everyone was talking about two years ago, might be unseated by an entirely new threat this year.

If you’re not keeping up with latest IT security reports, you could be leaving your business network vulnerable to attack by ransomware, viruses, and other types of malware.

As part of being a trusted IT partner and providing managed IT services to businesses in Wabash, Huntington, Peru, and Marion, we stay on top of the latest reports on what threat actors are using to attack business networks and the newest threats emerging.

We’ve looked into the tech crystal ball via two important industry reports that cover data breaches and mobile device security. These two reports offer vital information on what threat actors are doing, how they’re changing their tactics and what businesses need to do to protect themselves.

Here’s a rundown of each report we reviewed and exactly where the data comes from.

2020 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon

This DBIR report by Verizon looked at 3,950 data breaches and 157,525 cybersecurity incidents in 2019 across 16 different industries and four worldwide regions.

McAfee Mobile Threat Report 2020

This mobile threat report reviewed activity in Q4 of 2019 to find the biggest threats to mobile devices. The findings come from the McAfee Threat Research Team after looking at incidents of mobile malware globally. 

Top IT Security Risks You Need to Be Prepared For

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the two reports on cybersecurity that can inform your IT security strategy for the coming year.

Password Stealing Malware Has Jumped to #1

Many companies are worried about ransomware attacks, which continue to be costly and wreak the most havoc of just about any other type of attack. But ransomware has now been surpassed by a type of malware called a password dumper.

Password dumpers are designed to make their way into a system and immediately search for those databases that hold login names and passwords and then dump the information back to the attacker.

The fact that this is number one falls in line with the increase in credential theft and problems with insider threat attacks. 

Security Takeaway: You need to protect user credentials with safeguards like multi-factor authentication and password managers.

Apps are Hiding and Taking Over Your Android Phone

U.S. detections of a dangerous malware called LeifAccess were alarmingly high last year, with 943 detections of this type of malware strain, far more than any other country.

What typically happens is that this malware hides inside malicious apps. Those apps may have an icon that looks similar to a legitimate application. When you download it, the app icon changes, and it hides itself as something like the Settings icon, making it difficult to spot and remove.

What does LeifAccess do? 

  • Post fake reviews on Google Play
  • Automatically download other apps to your device
  • Install other forms of malware
  • Perpetrate click fraud

Security Takeaway: Don’t download unknown apps or those that are not in an app store.

Misconfiguration Errors are Second Only to Hacking in Breach Causes

A concerning data breach threat that’s been increasing is misconfiguration. This is when operating systems, hardware, or software are not configured properly and as a result, a data breach occurs.

This problem has been on the rise since 2017 and took a big jump in the last year. Misconfiguration is now second only to hacking when it comes to the major causes of data breaches.

Graph from Verizon 2020 DBIR

Security Takeaway: Instead of allowing users to download their own software or configure your cloud app settings, you want to work with an IT professional who can ensure your tech configurations are set up correctly.

Spyware Can Hide in Legitimate Apps

A targeted type of spyware called Malbus originated from a legitimate South Korean transit application. This spyware was designed to search for certain keywords related to military or political information and extract the data.

If you’re wondering how this can be relevant to you, it’s because once a specific malware is out there, other cyber criminals can use that same tactic and code to create other versions. For example, one that instead of searching for military keywords, searches for keywords related to payments, banking, and credit card details.

The fact that the attacker was able to get into the developer’s Google Play account and plant the malware code in an already approved app is also a big red flag to be even more careful when downloading apps.

Security Takeaway: Have an app use policy detailing which apps are allowed on business devices and use a mobile device manager (like Microsoft Intune) to monitor app activity and secure endpoints.

Is Your Cybersecurity Plan Prepared for the Latest Threats?

A managed IT services plan can help you stay one step ahead of the attackers by giving you important safeguards, plus continuous network monitoring for threats.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 260-225-3133 or reach us online.