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IT threats to look out for in 2018

With every new year come new inventions and discoveries, new risks and areas of opportunities. As even the most private and sensitive areas of our business and personal lives become digitized, new cybersecurity and IT threats arise. IT expert Chris Albright of CMIT Solutions of Centreville considers ransomware, IoT hacking, machine learning, and insufficient IT and cybersecurity to be the largest IT threats of 2018.

Ransomware

Globally, ransomware attacks grew by 56 percent in 2017, with the WannaCry attack being the largest of all time. Ransomware includes any kind of cyberattack in which a business or individual is required to pay a monetary fee in order to regain full access of their computer, breached data or Cloud. There is currently no way around regaining access without paying the ransom — and no guarantee that if you pay, the breached data won’t be compromised once paid. Most ransomware attacks are automated, so it is rare that you currently or will ever be able to determine who is behind your data or computer breach. Payments are often a few hundred dollars paid via cryptocurrency which is extremely difficult to track.

IoT Hacking

There are many personal and professional benefits to creating an in-house Internet of Things (IoT). As convenient as your smart devices or custom network may be, each come with unique IT risks. This goes beyond standard mobile devices to IoT hacks for pacemakers, defibrillators, heart monitors, video cameras and any internet-connected electronic device. This also includes the increased risk for hacking into home or office automation features.

Machine Learning

Intelligent chatbots and machine learning algorithms that get smarter with each interaction create a whole new set of IT threats. This includes the in-depth personal and business data gathered by the artificial intelligence (AI) we implement to boost productivity. For example, Amazon Echo, Siri or Google Assistant can now help us complete a long and growing list of virtual tasks. While AI can be used for a variety of legitimate and productive purposes, it can also be used to help hackers learn how to improve their hacking techniques. On the flipside, AI will be simultaneously used to detect bad bots, malicious AI and machine learning.

Insufficient IT and Cybersecurity

Training, education and a proactive IT and cybersecurity plan is the best way to minimize internal and external risk factors. Unfortunately, few families have an IT plan in place, and businesses with an IT security plan often fail to update the plan with the frequency required to remain secure. With the number of bring your own (BYO) devices, shared devices, internet-connected gadgets and IT threats evolving at a rapid place, it is essential that everyone have an IT plan in place. This includes everything from secure hosting, network security, mobile device management, data and Cloud security, in-house IT policies and procedures, and managed IT services.

The threats above are far from the only IT security concerns you should have your eye on but are some of the greatest IT threats of 2018.

CMIT Solutions of Centreville provides a strategic approach to IT consulting that improves the performance of your business technology in the most cost-effective way possible. Assisting businesses across Northern Virginia, CMIT Centreville can help you achieve the fastest return on your technology investment. Call 703-881-7738 today to see how CMIT Centreville can help your business stay in business.

Content provided by All Things Writing, LLC

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