The age of Internet technology has come with advantages, certainly, but it has also brought vulnerabilities and new ways for criminals to profit. As computers get smarter, so do cyber criminals. IT security programs are more important than ever to businesses and individuals to help protect them from information breaches and more.
These are the top IT security trends to watch for in 2018:
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
PC magazine heralds GDPR as the most anticipated and important security factor in 2018. The regulation requires companies that do business in the European Union (EU) to protect the personal data of those they do business with. Those companies that do not comply risk fines of as much as 4 percent of their global revenue. To prepare for the GDPR, which goes into effect May 25, 2018, most companies are performing security assessments and hiring additional security professionals, as well as lawyers.
Ransomware takes corporate “hostages” virtually when cyber hackers infiltrate a company’s industrial or transport automation or control system. They complete control, leaving the owners powerless to regain control. The only resolution is to pay the hackers a “ransom” to restore rightful control to the company. It is likely that in 2018, new targets for cyber hackers will emerge: high-profile or wealthy individuals and home-connected devices. The best course of action for companies is to be proactive – run backups frequently and keep fixing and updating systems.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI-based attacks are likely to increase. As machines get smarter and detect network vulnerabilities, so do the cyber criminals who use machine learning to dismantle them. Companies will need to up their game with new AI-enabled security tools, but it’s a good bet that criminals will come up with their own set of cyber battle tools. Some of those tools include new-and-improved spam and phishing schemes that automate intelligence gathering for advanced attacks. Automation or AI also may be used to infiltrate data sources by guessing passwords, and ML can let criminals know exactly whom to target in an organization to get past security protocols.
Identity theft and POS (point of sale) breaches, including those of store computers and ATMs, are rising concerns. In 2017, there was a rash of data breaches that affected major organizations, including Yahoo!, Dun & Bradstreet, Saks Fifth Avenue, FAFSA, DocuSign, Gmail, Equifax and Verizon, leaving the personal data of millions at risk. The breaches led to interruptions of service and loss of revenue, forcing companies to patch vulnerabilities and implement better IT security programs.
The creation of fake IP (Internet Protocol) addresses by a hacker to impersonate legitimate sources is known as spoofing. It enables intruders to bypass security measures because of the “trusted” relationships between machines. Spoofing is often used in denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, in which applications or systems are held hostage by hackers, preventing legitimate owners from accessing information or services. The most common DoS attack involves overloading a network with so much information that it is unable to handle the barrage of data. The computer can’t process the request, so it becomes a “denial of service.” In related IP spoofing attack, it attempts to modify a DNS (Domain Name Server) to a specific IP address, which is often used to spread viruses and computer worms.
Unfortunately, new vulnerabilities to our technology are coming about every day, and the need for IT security specialists is growing. Campus, formerly known as MTI College, offers a fast-paced, hands-on Network Administration and Security associate degree program that prepares you for an entry-level position as a networking professional. Computer networking is critical to large companies and industries, such as health care and banking, that rely on secure, shared databases. Completing your associate degree in Network Administration and Security, and earning CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certification, may open the door to an entry-level job as a:
- Network administrator You would be responsible for setting up and maintaining an organization’s computer network to keep costs down and production up.
- Security specialist In this important role, you would protect a company’s computer network and make sure that only authorized people could gain access to confidential information. You would also have to monitor the network’s infrastructure and firewalls.
- Information security analyst You would look for security breaches and investigate violations, install firewalls and generally help keep a company’s computer network safe from hackers.
- Systems administrator This job entails taking care of the day-to-day operation and upkeep of a company’s computer network.
Get the skills and certification you need from Campus, and you can be on the road to fighting cyber crime and protecting our IT security.