Cybersecurity Year in Review and Future Trends
Cybersecurity Awareness – By Ron Frechette
As we reflect on 2017, it will most likely be remembered in the Digital Age archives as the year that phishing and ransomware attacks pulverized the general public and small businesses. Sadly enough, it’s only just beginning. Large companies have had their share as well, such as Equifax, Google, and several others. But most of the cyber-criminal activity in 2017 was focused on smaller targets.
Why the shift towards “the small guys” and how can we reverse this trend to avoid becoming victims?
Why the Shift?
Why #1 – The online human attack surface will reach six billion people by 2022 – currently 3.8 billion
Why #2 – Larger enterprise companies are more secure today – harder to penetrate.
Why #3 – Most small businesses and the general public are easy targets for cybercriminals.
The world has launched into the Digital Age so fast that many of us are just waking up to it now. Cybersecurity is a buzzword we hear in the media on an almost daily basis. But larger companies have been dealing with malicious hacking issues since the beginning of the internet. Over time, they have increased their cyber security defenses, making it harder for cybercriminals to penetrate. As a result, cybercriminals have shifted their focus to those less- educated and equipped to protect against cyber-attacks. Small business owners and the general public are especially vulnerable targets. In 2016, over 50% of cyber-attacks were against small businesses.
The cybersecurity community and major media outlets predict that cybercrimes will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2016. It’s like the California Gold Rush for cyber thugs. The time for us to act is now.
Noteworthy thoughts about the state of cybercrime:
- Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.”
- Billionaire businessman Warren Buffet takes it a step further and says, “Cyber-attacks are the number one problem with mankind, even worse than nuclear weapons.”
- Ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations—the No. 1 cyber-attacked Industry—will quadruple by 2020.
Reversing the Trend
It starts with us as individuals. We need to get educated, diligently practice good cybersecurity hygiene, and embed these behaviors into our daily lives. Like brushing our teeth. Of course, there is always the option of reverting back to old days of relying on the telephone and U.S. Postal Service. Unfortunately, the postal system and telecom companies rely too much on today’s Digital Age technology. There is no going back.
My hope is that over the past year, our readers have been able to protect themselves better by reading The Park Press. We have covered various topics about cybersecurity filled with tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber-attack. They are all available for review online in the Park Press archives.
We need to be especially vigilant through the upcoming holiday season as we traditionally see a rise in online criminal activities. Read, “Don’t Fall for Phishing Attacks” for a holiday refresh.
Our plan for 2018 is to get more granular with our readers and provide a more detailed view of things they can implement into their daily lives to keep them safe in cyber. If you have a cybersecurity topic you want to learn more about, please let us know. Send me a tweet @GoldSkyRon.
Wishing you all a Blessed Holiday Season and New Year filled with Joy and Peace!