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Intel Security has highlighted the main cyber threats it predicts will affect businesses and consumers across the world in 2017.
The organisation's McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions Report focuses on 14 major threat trends to watch out for across the course of next year, as well as highlighting the key developments in cloud security and the Internet of Things (IoT) security. The six major challenges and the most difficult to resolve issues facing the cybersecurity industry and current cybercrime trends are also discussed in the report, which comprises the expert opinions of 31 Intel Security thought leaders.
Vincent Weafer, vice president of Intel Security’s McAfee Labs, said: "To change the rules of the game between attackers and defenders, we need to neutralize our adversaries’ greatest advantages. As a new defensive technique is developed, its effectiveness increases until attackers are compelled to develop countermeasures to evade it.
"To overcome the designs of our adversaries, we need to go beyond understanding the threat landscape to changing the defender-attacker dynamics in six key areas: information asymmetry, making attacks more expensive, improving visibility, better identifying exploitation of legitimacy, improving protection for decentralized data, and detecting and protecting in agentless environments," added Mr Weafer.
Among the 2017 threat predictions mentioned in the report are those linked to ransomware, attacks on smart-home IoT devices, social engineering attacks and firmware attacks. On a positive note, it was suggested in the report that ransomware attacks will see a drop in both volume and effectiveness in the second half of next year, while Windows vulnerability attacks will continue to decline. However, attacks on infrastructure software and virtualization software will rise, the report suggested, as will attacks on firmware and hardware by skilled hackers.
Dronejackings will be attempted by cyber criminals making use of software running on laptops and IoT malware could mean that a connected home could be facing cyber crimes that could lie undetected for years, the report warned.
Bank accounts and credit cards will be more at risk than ever due to mobile attacks which will merge mobile device locks with credential theft, while the rise in machine learning will boost the frequency of social engineering attacks, the report added.
Online trust will continue to be eaten away at by an increasing number of fake averts and likes on social media that have been bought rather than truly earned by reviewers and genuine customers. The report also suggested that ad wars will continue to rise, while a series of techniques previously employed by advertisers to push their adverts out to customers will be replicated by cyber attackers in order to boost their malware delivery capabilities.
Ploughshare's Cyber Defence Capability Assessment Tool (CDCAT) provides a comprehensive tool for organisations to assess their cyber defences and identify any vulnerabilities they may have. As the frequency of attacks increase, the tool is an essential method to mitigate any threats cybercriminals pose.