Hot off the tail of the massive 2017 Equifax breach that exposed personal information of 143 million customers, businesses are on high alert concerning IT security in 2018. While the IT security industry has been successful in mitigating and cracking down on many common threats, hackers are finding new ways to exploit devices that haven’t received as much attention and protection as PCs and servers have. Trends indicate that your company could be looking at security threats from previously ignored devices and sources in 2018. Be on the lookout for the following threats this year.
1. Missing Windows Updates Over Incompatible Antivirus Software and the Meltdown-Spectre Fix
This is one security threat your company could already be facing: There’s an inherent flaw in the way modern CPUs by Intel, AMD and ARM handle data that can be exploited to leak information. This is a substantial problem because it stems from the hardware as opposed to the software, and fixing it can negatively impact device performance. To make matters worse, some types of antivirus software conflict with Microsoft’s fix. If your business is using one of those incompatible programs, you need to switch to a compatible option to continue receiving Windows Updates as of January 2018. Those Windows Update patches are vital to keeping your company’s computers safe.
2. Internet of Things Devices Become a Bigger Threat
As of 2017, there were 17.68 billion IoT-connected devices, and that number is expected to grow to 23.14 billion in 2018.
Your office may interact with devices like an Amazon Echo, a smart thermostat and dozens of smartwatches. These are all IoT devices that could be the targets of security attacks.
These devices can be used to piggyback onto your office network. Additionally, DDoS attacks from hijacked IoT device botnets could be an even bigger threat in 2018.
Ransomware is for more than just computers now. In 2018, IoT devices could be the next major target for hackers using ransomware to get your business to fork over payment to regain control. A workplace that’s lost control of the thermostat because of ransomware might be highly motivated to pay. Hackers may also be looking to exploit security holes in your office router and modem, as these devices are often neglected when IT staff applies regular security updates. Hackers often exploit the fact that many users don’t change the default password on these devices.
4. Watch out for Mobile Malware
The growing mobile device user base is making the Android and iOS platforms much more attractive targets for hackers over the traditional PC targets. According to Kaspersky, Android devices are more vulnerable to malware, but attacks are easier to identify and fix. While iOS devices are more secure, it’s much harder to tell if a device has been compromised.
Keeping up with IT security in your workplace is your best bet to avoid disastrous breaches and downtime. Our IT consulting experts can help your company identify and protect its security weak points. Contact us today.