Online blackmail, hacktivism and mobile malware are still on the rise in 2016. These perhaps less surprising trends in Trend Micro’s report ‘The Fine Line: 2016 Security Predictions’ are clouded by one striking prediction: “due to the increasing use of smart devices in our daily activities, at least one smart device failure will have lethal consequences. Call it the first human cyber casualties or what you will, it is at the very least a prediction that we should consider for a moment.
As the use of smart devices becomes more ubiquitous, so does the impact of these devices on our daily life. As a consequence, the impact of attacks and security breaches becomes more personal too. It is only one of the reasons why we should be grateful that more and more users, companies and governments are taking an offensive and proactive stance in cybersecurity. Governments are imposing harsher legislations and penalties on cybercriminals and malware. Organizations are increasingly appointing Chief Security Officers, and users are installing software to block malvertising.
Unfortunately this also means that cybercriminals will resort to even more advanced technologies and social engineering to reach their criminal purposes. The attacks will become more personal, targeted at companies as well as consumers. As a side-effect, we will also see an increase in online extortion, using the acquired information of the cybercriminals’ targets to blackmail these victims.
Other interesting findings from the Trend Micro 2016 Security Predictions include:
- Mobile malware will grow to about 20 million malicious apps, especially in China, and will gradually focus on new mobile payment methods;
- Hacktivists will refine their methods of attack, in order to systematically destroy their targets with high-profile data breaches;
- Less than 50% of the organizations expect to employ cybersecurity experts by the end of 2016;
- Legislation worldwide further expands into a global cybersecurity defense model, which will lead to even more succesful arrests, persecutions and convictions.
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