2017 cybercrime trends

date: 5 January 2017
reading time: 3 min

The number of hackers’ attacks that we observed in 2016 is predicted to rise even more in the coming months. That is why, at the turn of the year, new year’s business resolutions should be more than just wishful thinking.

What exactly can we expect and how to prepare for it? Read on and find out.

IoT malware

As one can expect, with an increase of internet-enabled devices in the market we should anticipate more and more security threats associated with these devices. According to McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions ReportInternet of Things malware will open a backdoor into the connected building and it could go undetected for years. A vast expansion of the IoT is posing serious danger of cybercriminals intruding into our privacy. There should be no doubt that networks of devices infected with malware without their users’ knowledge will be one of the most common cybercrimes in the year to come.

Account takeover

Secondly, the menace of credential stuffing and account takeover will be on the rise in 2017. Hackers, highly motivated to break into accounts and fraudulently transfer money, would cause further problems for both business and individuals. Online banking accounts are massively taken over by usage of spyware, phishing or malware scams. Fraudsters also attack other services of sensitive content to divulge personal information for identity theft. The scale of the problem is increasing and therefore we should be all aware of this threat.

Smart cities in danger

Smart cities will not remain immune to the dangers posed by cybercrime. The spectrum of potential threats is massive – hackers will try to gain illicit control over sensors that control a variety of systems including lighting, heating and ventilation, fire alarm, traffic control and emergency systems. Every unauthorised entrance to any of the integrated systems could disrupt people’s lives significantly. Systems which manage and automate key city services will become particularly valuable targets for cybercriminals and cyberterrorists.

Threatful gear

Other cybercrime trends that are on the rise are botnets and DDoS attacks. A botnet, also known as zombie army, is a connection established between computers or mobile devices undetected by their owners. In a DDoS attack, the victim experiences a flooding of incoming traffic which makes it impossible to maintain a normal functioning of the computer or device. This threat applies especially to home-based computers but also to businesses unless providing effective safeguards. We anticipate that the number of cyber-attacks will grow in 2017 as long as outdated security principles are still in use.

How to prepare?

In the upcoming year, everyone may become a target, as every piece of gear might become weaponized. Threats are becoming more sophisticated, self-acting and more difficult to detect. We might also observe a return of some former threats, enhanced with new technologies.

Apart from embedding security into various layers of the business, an essential part of effective protection in 2017 would include threat extraction, emulation and supporting technology with human security expertise. Continuous awareness and security upgrades seem to be the basic elements of cybercrime prevention this year.


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