The growth of the tech space has led to a corresponding growth in the number of cyber threats and vulnerabilities in recent times.
This has made corporations fortify their cyber security to keep the bad guys out while protecting the organisation. Just like companies upgrade their systems, these individuals also upgrade their malicious skills to stay one step ahead of the game.
In 2023, the explosion of Information Technology especially AI has opened more pathways to cyber harm by these individuals.
The following are some of the emerging cyber threats, with some gaining ground more than others:
1. The Menace of Ransomware
Just like its name, ransomware involves the stealing of an organisation’s database. Ransomware is not your regular case of kidnapping, where a small amount of money is demanded as ransom.
These individuals ask companies to pay huge amounts of money, running into millions of dollars before they can have access to their data. Some companies still don’t get back their full data after paying the ransom.
2. The Peril of Phishing
One of the methods used by fishermen for fishing is the use of bait to attract fish. This is synonymous with phishing, where individuals are sent emails and messages that contain links that give hackers access to your data when you click on it.
Hackers can set up spam emails to steal login and credit card details. Phishing can occur across any device or digital platform.
3. Data Breach
A data breach occurs when hackers steal the personal data of an individual with malicious intent. Large corporations are usually targets of a data breach due to the large number of individuals that use their services.
Over the years, big platforms like Alibaba, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace experienced a data breach, with hackers gaining access to the personal information of users.
The number of persons using mobile devices is expected to double in the coming years, so data breach is sure to be a concern for household names in the IT and business world.
4. Crypto-jacking Attacks
Crypto-jacking is the illegal mining of cryptocurrency by cyber criminals. This can be done by gaining access to the crypto accounts of different individuals through the theft of their mobile devices.
This can also be achieved without the knowledge of the user by exploiting these devices to gain access to crypto accounts.
5. Vulnerabilities in Mobile Devices
Most households have a minimum of one mobile phone with others having as many as four or five. This figure will rise as the years go by as more persons get exposed to the use of technology; this makes more persons susceptible to a security breach.
Furthermore, the rise in remote jobs has opened up companies to attack from hackers because most mobile phones of employees are prone to attack from the downloading of malicious software and apps.
6. IoT Raids
The Internet of Things (IoT) deals with the interconnection of different devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets to facilitate the exchange of data between them. Consider this scenario; a group of children, holding hands and forming a circle. Each child feels a shove whenever another child pulls on the connection.
In the same vein, a security breach in any of the connected devices leads to a corresponding attack on other connected devices.
7. Inadequate Data Management
The information technology space gets a massive inflow of data in minutes, hours and days. Also, the amount of data generated by consumers is expected to increase as the years go by. Some of these data go unused which makes them liable to attacks from hackers.
8. Third Party Exposure
Cyber criminals can gain access to their target through a third party. For instance, if a company contracts an IT company to carry out upgrades on their software, they are open to attack by hackers if the IT company’s security system is not well grounded.
This was the case when over 200 million personal data of the users of LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram was leaked because of the use of a mutual contractor.
9. Social Engineering
In social engineering, the psychology of a person is manipulated using a variety of mediums to release sensitive information for illegal purposes. As individuals get wind of the tricks of these hackers, they devise new ways to trick people, creating an endless loop of cyber crimes.
With the advent of the Fifth-generation mobile network, the world has experienced tremendous speed of up to 20Gbps. As awesome as this sounds, this speed shortens the time spent to attack a 5G-enabled device.
Furthermore, malicious software is downloaded at a fast rate, quick control of IoT devices and the comprise of network security occurs.
In conclusion, the IT space will continue to experience growth in all ramifications and the cyber security space needs to be beefed up with more professionals trained to tackle posterity challenges in cyber crimes.
Researched by Safiya Onayi Ahmed