If 2014 was any indication, cybercriminals and their attacks aren't slowing down anytime soon. With the new year just around the corner, it's important to look ahead at the cyberthreats that can be expected in 2015. Many types of attacks that came to prominence in 2014 will likely become more prevalent next year and new entry points for cybercrime will begin to emerge.
"As devices and items such as cars and home appliances are connected to the Internet, they present more opportunities for the bad guys to get to consumers' private data and even into their homes," said cybersecurity expert Dave Frymier in an interview with Help Net Security. "For better or worse, the cyber world is changing faster than the security models used by most organizations, and that will continue to leave us vulnerable to cybercriminals."
Below are some of the attacks to expect and the areas that are at risk for cybercrime in 2015:
Trend to watch: Internet of Things
As Frymier noted, society's growing interconnectedness is adding to the risk of cyberattacks, and the Internet of Things is a breeding ground for such threats. The IoT will likely be a popular target in 2015, as the network continues to have new devices added to it each day and the amount of information available grows exponentially. This stockpile of personal data is a prime target for hackers looking to score big. Mobile devices will likely become even more popular as access points for hackers as users become more connected than ever.
Industry at highest risk: Healthcare
The healthcare industry has embraced the technological revolution more than most sectors and especially the idea of interconnectedness and information availability. Because of this, healthcare organizations will likely face increased cyber intrusions as doctors more frequently utilize electronic health records and data analysis. Patient information is possible the most desirable data available, as medical fraud and identity theft can be perpetrated with it, making it an even more popular target.
Cyber approach to defend against: Social Engineering/Spearphishing
As more information is put online and stockpiles of data get bigger by the minute, the ability of hackers to use that information for malicious purposes grows as well. The practice of social engineering has become more sophisticated with the advent of social media and increased connectivity, spearphising campaigns have become more dangerous. As the means to create convincing scam messages becomes more readily available, these types of attacks are likely to become more common and destructive in the new year.
Global threat to track: Cyber Espionage
Many industry experts suspect cyber espionage will increase during the coming year. Tensions have been mounting between the U.S. and the major powers of China and Russia, with each side accusing the other of hacking and stealing sensitive information. As these kinds of attacks become more lucrative, it is almost certain they will occur more frequently.
As Frymier noted in his interview, con