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CYBER SECURITY EXPERT: Michael Daugherty, is a Senior Writer for Cyber Defense Magazine and is a Board Member at Snoopwall the powerhouse cyber-security firm. He is author of The Devil Inside the Beltway: The Shocking Expose of the US Government’s Surveillance and Overreach Into Cyber-security, Medicine and Small Business.
Last year I quoted late, great sage and Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra. Yogi once noted, “It’s tough to make predictions especially about the future.”
Fortunately, for me, mine for 2015 were accurate. And so I will venture out to again make predictions, many of which should be considered warnings, for 2016 — as I remain all the while cognizant of the words of the Chinese philosopher La Tzu that “those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.”
So here are my cybersecurity predictions for 2016:
1. The Internet of Things will increasingly be exploited by hackers. With more and more products including cars, refrigerators, coffee makers, televisions, smartwatches, webcams, copy machines, toys and even medical devices being connected to the Internet, the Internet of Things will become a prime target for hackers to exploit in many ways.
2. Ransomware, whereby hackers take control of the data in their victims’ computers, encrypt the data and threaten to destroy the data unless the victims pay a ransom has evolved into a bigger problem than many people may be aware of because many of the victims of ransomware do not report the attacks out of a concern as to adverse publicity. Companies of all sorts and governmental agencies have become victims of ransomware. The sophistication of the malware used as ransomware makes this a tremendous threat. In addition, while in the past ransomware has been used primarily for financial extortion, it can be expected that terrorists and others may use this malware purely to attack a target and destroy its data without any financial purpose.
3. As more and more data migrates to the cloud, hackers will focus their attention on infiltrating the cloud. As so often is the case, the cloud may be more vulnerable due to the security measures used by the people and companies using the cloud rather than inherent security weaknesses in the companies providing cloud services.
4. ISIS and other terrorist groups will attempt to conduct cyberwarfare including trying to attack vulnerable computer connected infrastructure including energy facilities.