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Cyberterrorism, Cyberwarfare and Future Cybersecurity

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(Bay Area/San Francisco, California - Jeff M. Wang)

 

 

- Cybersecurity Landscape

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes. Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative. 

For example, by 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than to 21 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Cybercriminals will continue to use IoT devices to facilitate DDoS attacks. In 2016, the world was introduced to the first “Internet of Things” malware - a strain of malicious software that can infect connected devices such as DVRs, security cameras, and more. The malware accessed the devices using default password and usernames. The malware turned the affected devices into a botnet to facilitate a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which aims to overwhelm websites with internet traffic. The attack ended up flooding one of the largest website hosting companies in the world, bringing a variety of major, well-known websites and services to a halt for hours. 

More of our personal lives and business activities are being conducted online than ever, making cybersecurity a key issue of our time. Understanding what the future of cybersecurity is will show you how to make the best use of your resources and stay safe not just today, but tomorrow too.  Regulations like GDPR and CCPA helped make the collection of consumer data and privacy a matter of law instead of just good practice. However, consumers remain skeptical of businesses that continue to put profit ahead of privacy after breaches, like Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

 

- Cyberterrorism

The term cyberterrorism refers to the use of the Internet in order to perform violent actions that either threaten or result in serious bodily harm or even loss of life. Cyberterrorism acts often aim to achieve political or ideological advantages by means of intimidation, fear and threat. 

Sometimes, the definition of cyberterrorism expands to cover the terrorist activities like intentional disruption of computer networks through using various tools like worms, viruses, phishing activities and various other malicious software and programming scripts. 

As you might have seen in our attempts above, the definition and description of cyberterrorism is highly context dependent and prone to change.  Yet, in order to deal with issues caused by hackers and cyberterrorists, we need to come up with a working definition, at least. We can simply define cyberterrorism as attacks on digital assets and/or digitally stored information of an organization that is done for ideological motivations, instead of economic motivations. 

Cyberterrorism can affect or target almost anyone, that is why it is always a good idea to be prepared. If you’d like to make sure that the security posture of your organization is well enough to withstand persistent and/or advanced attacks, do regular check-ups. Regularly test your security measures, detect the vulnerabilities and alleviate them. Moreover, make sure to update your tools, software and firewalls regularly. 

Come up with a crisis plan, let everyone in your cyber security and/or IT team to know what their roles and responsibilities are in the event of crisis. In addition, don’t rely on a single security solution. Always have a back-up plan and back-up measure.

 

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[Square Garden, New York City, New York - Civil Engineering Discoveries]

- The Three Key Themes of Cyber Threats Facing The Industry

Every other day we read news related to cybersecurity threats like ransomware, phishing, or IoT-based attacks. Recently, it comes with a whole new level of cybersecurity threats that businesses need to be aware of. In fact, organizations will face cyber threats under three key themes:

  • Disruption: Over-dependence on fragile connectivity will increase the risk of premeditated internet outages that compromise business operations. Cybercriminals will use ransomware to hijack the Internet of Things.
  • Distortion: Spread of misinformation by bots and automated sources will cause compromise of trust in the integrity of information.
  • Deterioration: Rapid advances in smart technologies and conflicting demands posed by evolving national security will negatively impact an enterprise’s ability to control information.

 

- Cyber Threats Are Constantly Evolving

The cybersecurity threat landscape continues to grow as the attacks and evasion maneuvers of threat actors makes the task of detecting and tracking cyberattacks increasingly challenging. Threat actors rarely use single vector attacks anymore. They are combining different tactics and multiple techniques to achieve their objectives.

Cyber threats are constantly evolving. As recently as 2016, Trojan malware accounted for nearly 50% of all breaches. Today, they are responsible for less than seven percent. That’s not to say that Trojans are any less harmful. Their backdoor and remote-control capabilities are still used by advanced threat actors to conduct sophisticated attacks. Staying ahead of evolving threats is a challenge that keeps many IT professionals awake at night. Understanding today’s most important cyber threats is the first step toward protecting any organization from attack.

Cybersecurity is a hot topic for organizations across every industry. Securing networks, hardening systems, and protecting data from cyber threats has become more important than ever, as cyber incidents are on the rise. For example, IoT security focuses on protecting your Internet-enabled devices that connect to each other on wireless networks. IoT security is the safety component tied to the Internet of Things, and it strives to protect IoT devices and networks against cybercrime. 

 

- Future Cybersecurity

The future of cybersecurity is hard to predict because the industry is constantly evolving in response to the shifting behaviors of cybercriminals and the new attacks they develop. Nobody can tell exactly what the next major cyber threat will be or where it will come from, but experts still have a good idea of the general direction that we’re heading in. Although tomorrow is never certain, paying attention to the cybersecurity predictions listed below will help you to future-proof your business and other online activities. So, what is the future of cybersecurity? 

 

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a core component of all cybersecurity systems.
  • The cybersecurity industry will focus on cyber warfare threats.
  • There’ll be more hackers to deal with.
  • Developing cybersecurity talent becomes essential .

 

As the bad guys become more sophisticated, we need to prepare for attacks using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and evolutionary computation algorithms. It’s not all bad news, though. Technologies like AI and ML have armed cybersecurity companies with the means to confront security challenges, while new privacy laws like California’s CPRA will further bolster a consumer’s right to choose when and where they want to be private.
 
 
 

[More to come ...]

 

 

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