New Cybersecurity Threats For The New Year

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The new year is upon us and with 2016 comes a new batch of security threats. Here are some of our predictions, as well as other security expert’s predictions, on what will be the next big security threats headed our way in the coming year. We’ll also give you some tips on how you can prepare yourself and your devices for new threats.

Next Big Hacker Target #1: Watches and Wearables

What did you get for Christmas?

A smart watch or fitness tracker perhaps? One of the biggest gifts of 2015 will likely become one of the more popular hacker targets for 2016. Wearables such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit may be in hackers crosshairs in the new year.

According to a CNBC article, new malware known as headless-worms that target smart watches, smartphones, medical hardware, etc,  may make their prime time debut in 2016. This malware is said to be able to propagate from device to device, which could make for a rapidly spreading threat.

Next Big Hacker Target #2: The Cloud

With more and more businesses and services moving into the cloud, hackers will likely follow them there and develop new classes of exploits that target cloud-based infrastructure, virtual machines used in cloud computing, etc.

According to the CNBC article, hackers may also try and take advantage of compromised mobile apps on hacked devices to help them gain access into private corporate clouds.

Next Big Hacker Target #3: The Connected Home

Nowhere will be off limits to hackers in 2016, even your home is no longer sacred. 2015 saw a rise in home automation technology offerings such as Internet-connected door locks, app-controlled lighting, security, temperature control, etc. As these technologies begin to proliferate into the marketplace and make their way into more and more homes, hackers will likely develop attacks to exploit weaknesses in these relatively new technologies.

A hacker might potentially be able to unlock your door from anywhere in the world if your connected-lock has an unpatched vulnerability that they discover and exploit.

How Can You Protect Yourself From New Cyber Threats?

How do you protect yourself and your devices from these new threats? Let’s look at some tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim of security vulnerabilities found in the devices and services you use.

Knowledge is Power: Stay Up-to-date on Security News

You should subscribe to security newsletters, such as the one offered here, as well as others. Knowing about a threat beforehand can allow you to take corrective action so you don’t become a victim.

Some new threats won’t have a patch initially, but security researchers may suggest protective measures to put in place on your device until your device’s manufacturer puts out a proper patch. Stay in the know and keep an eye out for vulnerabilities that are discovered in the products and services that you use.

Patch Your Apps and OS & Update Your Device Firmware (when needed):

If you don’t apply security patches and firmware updates, you are leaving yourself open to hackers and malware that capitalizes on vulnerabilities associated with unpatched software.

Set your software / OS to automatically check for updates on a regular basis and check hardware manufacturer's websites for firmware updates that might fix critical security vulnerabilities.

Update Your Antimalware And Consider Installing a Second Opinion Scanner as Well

If you aren’t using up-to-date antimalware definitions, newer malware may enter onto your system undetected. Set the auto update feature on your antimalware and make sure your subscription (if your antimalware requires one) is active.

Sometimes it's a good idea to get a second opinion, which is why you might want to consider installing a Second Opinion Malware scanner on your system. Learn more reasons why you might want one in our article: Why You Need a Second Opinion Malware Scanner.