Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats We’ve Seen in 2019

Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats We’ve Seen in 2019

As we continue making our way through National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we wanted to round up the biggest cybersecurity threats of 2019 (so far). The cybersecurity landscape is continuously changing as hackers evolve in the sophistication and type of attacks they are using. 

To keep your organization safe, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in cybersecurity threats and how you can prevent them in your organization. So, keep reading to discover the most recent attack methods cyber criminals are using to try and get their hands on your data.

Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats of 2019

Get your notepads and laptops ready; these are the five biggest cybersecurity threats we have seen over the last ten months!

Formjacking

Formjacking is a relatively new type of cyber attack, gaining attention in late 2018. This type of threat is still making waves in 2019, targeting commercial websites to obtain users’ personal information. 

Using a complex and sophisticated process, formjacking is the equivalent of virtual credit card skimming. How does this type of attack work? Cybercriminals inject malicious code into a website’s payment form – typically targeting e-commerce and banking sites. Then, as a user submits their personal information, including name, address, and payment info, it is sent to the attacker’s servers. 

While we often see large enterprise companies in the news for this type of threat, small businesses are a favorite target of many hackers. This is because small businesses can provide an easy gateway to larger targets – AKA, a supply chain attack. 

Smaller e-commerce sites that are suppliers for larger sites often have weaker security defenses. Once the smaller site is infected, it can pass the malicious code through the entire supply chain with legitimate transactions.

Supply Chain Attacks

We just discussed formjacking, which is the current supply chain attack of choice for many cybercriminals, but other types of supply chain attacks are still large cybersecurity threats in 2019. In supply chain attacks, criminals target software developers and suppliers, aiming to get their hands on an unsecure element in a network. If they are able to get access, these hackers change source codes to include malware. 

Then, once software or code is compromised, it can be passed on to users. The potential damage that a supply chain attack can inflict is significant because the software and apps are legitimate and trusted. Any user that downloads a compromised app is at risk. And often, developers don’t notice that malicious code is present until after the product has been released to the public. 

Ransomware

Ransomware has been a popular type of malware used by hackers in the previous years, and 2019 is no different. In fact, ransomware attacks have more than doubled this year, growing by 118%. The difference between 2019’s ransomware attacks and the counterparts of the past? In 2019 ransomware attacks are only getting smarter and more innovative. 

In previous years, hackers would often use spear phishing attempts to gain access to organizations. Now, however, these cybercriminals have found a new technique: using remote access points for entry. This type of attack can compromise entire networks, giving criminals the ability to threaten organizations and walk away with valuable data, while remaining concealed. 

Ransomware can destroy a business, so it’s important to know how you can protect your organization from ransomware.

IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has undoubtedly made a place for itself in our increasingly digital world. The convenience offered by the IoT is astounding. With IoT devices, you can lock and secure your home with the push of a button, control your thermostat resulting in reduced power consumption, and even talk to someone at your front door from your phone. 

But one flaw with the IoT is its security. The IoT relies on data to function. The devices gather, collect, and analyze this data without the need for human intervention. The problem is that this creates new gateways for all of this information and data to be compromised. And when you use an interconnected system of IoT devices, compromising one device could lead to the downfall of the whole system. 

Because of these risks, IoT devices have been a prime target for cyber attacks in 2019. 

Phishing

Phishing has been on many cybersecurity threat lists over the years, but the threat remains strong in 2019. And although email is still a popular candidate to carry attacks, cyber criminals are moving to other methods as well.

2019 has seen a rise in phishing attacks through social media and messaging platforms. From Facebook Messenger to Slack or Teams, hackers are getting smarter about the channels they are choosing. Users have become more educated on avoiding phishing emails, having been trained to look out for suspicious emails and links.

Social media, on the other hand, carries more trust with users as phishing attacks using these platforms are still new. Users are more likely to click on a link or file in a chat than they would in an email. So keep this in mind next time you are sent a link in a messaging or social app.

Keeping Your Organization Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

So, now you know the major cybersecurity threats that may put your organization at risk this year. The more you understand the different ways in which criminals can attack your organization, the better you can put prevention methods in place. 

Share this article with your co-workers to inform them of common threat types. Train your employees on how to prevent cyber attacks. Set up measures that will secure your network and, ultimately, your business. 

A great place to start is to download our free cybersecurity checklist! It will help you discover what cybersecurity practices your organization already has in place and where you can improve. Cybersecurity is only getting more critical, so start putting prevention methods in place before it’s too late!