Top 2016 Cyber Threats for Small Businesses

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Cyber-crime was strong in 2015 and experts forecast a continuation in 2016. The criminals are making money, expanding their businesses, and new entrants are taking advantage of a growth market. Small businesses should expect to be targets in 2016.

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The top 8 threats that may impact small businesses in 2016 are:

1. Growth of mobile malware
With the plethora of apps for mobile devices, it is easier for criminals to develop and deploy malware onto mobile devices. With business use common on mobile devices, small business networks can make an easy and attractive target for hackers.

2. Data theft from IoT devices
Experts say that stealing information from Internet of Things (IoT) devices with no security makes this type of cyber-crime easy. The rapid acceptance of devices that have apps connected to the Internet make this a valued target for criminals. The likelihood of lawsuits against manufacturers is bound to happen, charging companies with negligence over security measures.

3. Cyber espionage
Small businesses in a multitude of industries have intellectual property, production processes, blue prints and more that are highly desired by entrepreneur pirates in other countries. Theft of trade secrets stored in business networks with weak security is a rich trove waiting for hackers.

4. More cyber criminals due to expansion and creativity of internet underground
The dark market continues to become more sophisticated. As the money streams continue and the risks low in some areas, the dark market attracts new talent and creative ideas on making money illegally. Easy money holds appeal to new criminal customers. Malware and ransomware as a service will be common.

5. Extortion attacks from stolen data
The success of extortion efforts after the Ashley Madison breach has encouraged others to engage in extortion activities with threats of publication of data, photos, business plans, and loyalty program details. Embarrassment or the desire for confidentiality will continue to support extortion efforts against small businesses and individuals.

6. Ransomware on Internet of Things
Hackers have realized they can place ransomware on poorly secured IoT devices. Imagine a hacker contacting a parent telling her he has information about her baby from the baby’s monitor and the hacker demands payment.

7. Hacker mercenaries
A growth industry such as the dark market attracts all types of people. Mercenaries realize they can sell access to hacked systems to multiple parties. They may be reselling information stolen by others and post it on public dump sites, or they may be the actual data thief. Data can be sold in increments, resold multiple times for different purposes, or sold back to the original data owner. Think about all those vintage movies that were pirated and their crafty ways to profit from the loot and apply those tactics to cyber pirates and the looted data.

8. Stolen data aggregation
Hackers will aggregate data from smaller organizations to increase its value. While theft from a small business by itself may have a relatively low value, when combined with data from a group of businesses it may make it rich indeed. This will cause an increase in attacks on small businesses, since they continue to be easy targets.

Small businesses will need to be diligence with their cyber security measures and watch for attacks.

The National Cybersecurity Institute specifically trains small businesses to protect themselves from cyber threats. To find out ore check out the source link below. And don’t forget to join us on Twitter to receive all our cybersecurity blogs!

Cybersecurity for Small Business and Non-Profits:

About Carolyn Schrader

Carolyn Schrader is the founder of Cyber Security Group, Inc. that provides corporate services including vulnerability assessments, awareness training, in addition to the development of policies and procedures. Schrader has years of experience in business management, cyber security and information technology.

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  • Very helpful article. I was unaware of these types of latest cyber security threats. Thanks Carolyn for sharing it online.