Remember HeartBleed? You will probably remember it if your company was hacked in the five years before the world was notified of the issue. The worrying thing is that the HeartBleed vulnerability was a well-known and beloved part of the hacking community, and yet it took so long for mainstream security companies to publicise it. What other security threats are out there that we have no idea about? Here are four rather shocking security threats that we believe are only going to get worse in the year 2019.

CryptoCurrency

Ever wondered why hacking groups exist in pockets in Russia, China and Africa? Why not in places such as Bangladesh, Thailand, or the Ukraine? Why are hacking groups localised in certain areas? Most people will tell you that it is because of relaxed laws and inefficient or corrupt law enforcers, but couldn’t the same be said of Burma, Afghanistan, and many other struggling countries?

The reason why hacking groups exist in small pockets around the world is because breaking the law is not the hardest part. The hardest part is collecting and “keeping” the money. If you are lucky enough to find a bank that is willing to tolerate your less-than-reputable practices, you will find it even harder to find one that will not rip you off.

Thanks to CryptoCurrency, we are going to see more hacking groups spring up around the world because CryptoCurrency allows people to be paid without the need to rely on banks. The money will still have to be laundered, but it is only a case of selling the stolen currency to a third party in return for an anonymous cryptocurrency such as Verge, which is then converted back to whatever fiat currency the hacker desires. The FBI in the USA already receives over 1 million “knocks on its security doors” from Chinese hacking groups alone, so we can only wonder just how dangerous the online world is going to become when hacking groups can start up in any country.

Voice Recognition

People tout the merits of voice recognition with claims that it recognises your tone of voice, the cadence of your voice, your breathing pattern, and a whole bunch of other identifiable signatures. Yet, getting around this problem is hardly rocket science. A few clever phone connections and you could have people answering surveys online to transmit their voice to whatever account needs opening.

Ironically, one of the easiest solutions to this problem is to have people create their own verbal passwords, and yet few companies and government agencies are doing it. People have to say what they are instructed to say and are not allowed to choose their own verbal password. Instead, they are having people say, “My voice is my password,” which means all a thief needs to do is to have you say that sentence while connected to whatever account needs opening.

Ransomware

Is this still going to be an issue in 2019? We believe yes! As long as companies keep paying the hijackers, then ransomware is going to remain a problem. It is unclear just how much that ransomware spreaders are making because companies insist on paying in secret and covering up the problem because it may shake consumer confidence/trust if people thought a company was being attacked or hacked by outsiders. The problem is also that hijackers have learned not to ask for too much. They are not asking for millions, and in many cases, they are not asking for thousands. In most cases, it is both more convenient and cheaper to pay the hijacker and do a quick security fix rather than to fight the hijacker, to go public about it, and to lose millions while the problem is fixed by company engineers.

This threat could be ended tomorrow if every company in the world agreed to “not” pay the hijackers behind ransomware. What is more frustrating is that due to the fact that so many companies cover their ransomware problems up, it is not spoken about as much as it needs to be, which means other companies neglect that side of their digital/tech security and leave themselves open to attack through their own ignorance of what is going on around them.

Chatbots (Maybe)

The chatbot threat has been around for years, but it hasn’t had a big impact yet. The online malcontent will create hundreds of AI-powered chatbots that are deployed to social media accounts and forums around the internet. These chatbots appear to be real humans, and their aim is to spread propaganda. A single company may be targeted and may suffer a massive PR problem and maybe even go out of business because of the negative effect that the chatbot attack has on the company’s online reputation.

The reason why Chatbots “may” not become a threat in 2019 is for the same reason why they have failed thus far. The problem is not with the AI; it is with the spammy methods being used to deploy the chatbots. Even community pages on Google+ have spam catchers that Chatbots cannot penetrate. Unless somebody comes up with a great spambot-deployment innovation in the year 2019, there is a chance that the Chatbot threat will never become a big problem.

You may think you and/or your company are not open to these threats, but we can assess the current health of your IT systems and advise of any security measures needed. Is your business backup plan and disaster recovery up to date? Give us a call today on 0117 325 0370 to talk to one of our knowledgeable consultants.