The last three years in IT innovation have laid the foundation for even greater changes within the technology sphere. While some of these changes will simply build on developments in IoT, AI, smart industries and smart homes as well as the cloud, others such as the impending rollout of 5G in 2019 will herald in even newer innovations and introduce even greater security concerns.
This year is set to bring out the cybercriminals in their droves as Brexit will be finalised and a number of international sporting events such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup take place.
“We may not think that cyberattacks and the Rugby World Cup are in anyway connected, but they are,” said Indi Siriniwasa, Vice President of Trend Micro, Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Cybercriminals use world events to disperse fake news, which is particularly damaging during political events and elections. One way in which these are used as a tool by cybercriminals is that major sports events are often leveraged to send out emails with malicious links, or to extort money from their victims.”
According to Trend Micro, exploit kits were widely used in 2018 to distribute malware, however, there has also been an increased return to the old tried-and-tested methods of social engineering and phishing. This year is likely to see a rise in SMS phishing as hackers try to obtain banking and other personal details from users. Notably accounts used for cloud storage and cloud services will also be targeted in 2019.
Furthermore, chatbots are also most likely to be used for phishing. Users have become increasingly accustomed to making use of chatbot services that are hosted on websites as a means of support. This will make it easier for malicious actors to use this method to extract personal information or log in details from a user in order to gain access to bank accounts or to send the user malware.
“Looking ahead we predict that we will see an increase in hackers exploiting home networks as a way into an enterprise network,” added Siriniwasa.
“With more companies adopting remote working as an option for employees, we anticipate that we will see more breaches that come from unsecured home networks as organisations don’t have visibility on the threats that may affect staff at home.”
It is also predicted that Business Email Compromise (BEC) will continue to be employed by cybercriminals, however, targets will be managers a little lower down in the hierarchy.
“As far as governments are concerned, the battle against fake news will continue into 2019,” said Siriniwasa.
“The goal for the cybercriminal here is to sway public opinion in a specific direction, and with so many countries holding elections, as well as the Brexit finalisation, we anticipate that we will see an increase in this sphere.
“If hackers are increasingly going back to basics, as it appears that they are, then so must we as a security industry. We need to look beyond the systems we deploy, continue to place extensive emphasis on the education of the end user, look at ways in which we can deploy intrinsic security – namely from the edge, through the network and into the cloud, and ensure that our security policies follow every user, every connection and every device.
“If 2018 was anything to go by then 2019 is going to be exceptionally interesting for all security professionals. As an industry we need to be more vigilant in staying abreast of nefarious activity and developing tools to assist in stopping attacks, as end users you are going to be required to secure more with less. Ultimately, we have the tools to help but we need to continually innovate in order to stay one step ahead.”