2018 Trends in Cyber Security

A cyber security professional working on a computer

Cyber security is one of the few fields in which having a busy year is not always a good thing, since it indicates rampant criminal activity. When you earn your Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security from Grand Canyon University, you will be well-equipped to take on the continually evolving challenges in this industry. As the year 2018 unfolds, keep an eye out for the following emerging trends:

Ransomware and Cyber Hijacking

Ransomware has made many people nervous during the last few years. It is a virus that prevents people from accessing their data unless they pay a ransom. The first known ransomware attack occurred way back in 1989, but these attacks didn’t begin escalating until recently. During 2018, it is expected that this form of cyber hijacking will continue to worsen. Ransomware commonly infects users’ computer systems via phishing. Some aggressive types take a more direct route by using holes in the computer’s security system. In most cases, the malware encrypts the data it holds hostage to keep users from accessing it. These cyber criminals demand payments in cyber currencies.

International Cyber Conflict

It is no secret that certain state actors stand accused of using cyber-attacks to surreptitiously undermine the integrity of other countries’ political systems, most notably their elections. This has happened to at least a few sovereign nations around the world, and it’s an unfortunate trend that is expected to continue to grow. State-sponsored cyber criminals can attack another country’s infrastructures and financial systems in an effort to sow discord and destabilize the country. Expect the increase in cyber terrorism to prompt government agencies to place a greater emphasis on hiring cyber security specialists to fight back against this trend.

Artificial Intelligence-Driven Cyber Attacks

Artificial intelligence has broken new ground for legitimate companies, who can use it to better meet the needs of their customers. It is also increasingly a tool for black hat hackers, however. AI may be used to automatically collect sensitive information through otherwise legitimate channels, such as external code repositories, chat bots and support forums. Artificial intelligence can also assist cyber criminals with password guessing. AI-powered software can develop a narrower list of possible passwords by scanning for publicly available information, analyzing demographics and checking geographical locations.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance is a relatively new concept that is slowly gaining steam. Companies have been slow to take advantage of cyber liability insurance, but it is likely that this will change. During 2018, expect an uptick in the number of inquiries to insurance companies about this specialized coverage. It’s a smart way for both large and small businesses to protect themselves from legal problems caused by malware. Generally, cyber insurance covers expenses related to:

  • Computer repairs
  • Recovery of compromised data
  • Customer notifications
  • Identity restoration of affected customers
  • Legal fees

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