If 2016 has taught people anything, it’s that cyber security must be at the top of every business’ list of priorities. With the increasingly connected world brought about thanks to the internet, security concerns are no longer about doors and windows. With major hacking stories like the Sony and Yahoo breach, the world witnessed what happens when major corporations aren’t staying ahead of security trends. And if big corporations are not aware of the trends, other businesses have all the more reason to be proactive. Let’s consider what cyber security trends for 2017 will be.

Related: Cyber security trends in 2016

Cyber espionage

Some businesses are nothing if not ruthless when taking out others in order to corner specific markets. After all, scarcity provides opportunities: If there is no competition, you automatically win. This idea has been central to corporate espionage but takes on new meaning in the age of the internet. As Wired defines it:

“Cyber espionage is an activity multiple actors resort to in the name of security, business, politics or technology. It is not inherently military. Espionage is finding information that ought to remain secret and as such, may be carried out for a range of different reasons and for varying lengths of time.”

Hacking tools are widespread, whether used for cyber warfare or cyber espionage. Both are about obtaining information, using data to the advantage of the invading party. The difficulty is that it appears that hackers are ahead of the law and systems designed to stop them. With the successful hacking of Yahoo, Sony, the American Democratic National Convention and Joint Chiefs, cyber criminals might now be encouraged to go further and wider. Experts predict that because of these successes, everyone and every business should be more proactive in preventing cyber security invasions.

Misusing the Internet of Things

Smart devices are everywhere. From phones to fridges, technologies that connect to the internet have become a heck of a lot more prominent. These devices, however, are not just powerful individually but collectively. When these communicate with each other, you have what’s known as the Internet of Things. Yet, as tech has advanced in terms of providing new and more powerful functions, so hackers have found ways to use these multiple connections for their own ends. This danger will only increase. As US News notes:

“Some connected devices transmit data with little to no protection, according to researchers from Princeton University, who recently presented a report during a privacy convention hosted by the FTC.”

These devices can be used to invade more secure areas on business sites. Mobile devices, for example, can be hacked so people can invade business private servers. As more people use such devices and implement the Internet of Things, so the dangers will increase.

Related: Security risks of the Internet of Things

Phishing

One of the most pernicious forms of cyber invasion is phishing. As Tech Target defines it: “[it is] a form of fraud in which the attacker tries to learn information such as login credentials or account information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person via email, IM or other communication channels.”

So often these are poorly worded and are now quite obvious to the average person. But, naturally, it’s advancing.

For example, a recent Google phishing scam is highly sophisticated. After gaining access to a person’s account, the email includes a legitimate contact and subject line. But it comes with an attachment designed to look like a PDF. As Tech Republic recently pointed out, that’s where they catch you.

“The trick is that the fake attachment screenshot is an embedded image with a link in it that takes the victim to what looks like a Google login page. Thinking they need to re-authorize their account to view the attachment the user logs in, and their account is now in the hands of hackers. The cycle starts all over again—just one compromised account has the potential to affect dozens more.”

 

As we pointed out last year, there are a number of interventions you can take. One of the best ways to help protect yourself is by using two-factor authentication. Doing this protects you and your data from a large number of these sorts of hacking attempts.

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