With new technology comes new dangers, as all sorts of bad actors try to subvert that technology for gain. In the last few years, we have definitely seen this to be the case. With so many high-profile cyber-attacks in the news, it would be hard for anyone to miss the fact that this problem is growing rapidly. For those who are tasked with cybersecurity, the best way to deal with this challenge is to stay fully informed about the latest threats. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the biggest cybersecurity challenges in the world today.
1. Poorly Configured Clouds
Cloud computing is one of the hot new IT trends, but it comes with a whole host of new security issues. Cloud computing is often touted as a more secure option, but this extra security will only be seen if your cloud is configured properly. Unfortunately, cloud configuration can be a very complicated matter.
For an example of this, we might look at Amazon’s cloud configuration manual. This thing is well over a hundred pages long and contains many terms that would be hard for the average person to understand. Poorly configured clouds are easily hacked, as their interconnectedness can make it far easier to compromise the whole network at once.
2. Supply Chain Attacks
This is easily one of the scariest kinds of cyber-attacks out there. Instead of trying to collect your information through phishing, malware, malicious scripts, or other traditional methods, they just infect the hardware or software before it reaches the customer. When most people buy a new computer, they trust that it is clean and safe, but now we can no longer afford to make that assumption.
These kinds of attacks are becoming a lot more common, and that trend will likely continue. As an example of how bad this could be, we might look at this 2016 incident in which Asus (a computer manufacturer) was badly compromised. As many as 500,000 computers were hacked as a result of this, and all they had to do was infect the software updates with a particularly subtle trojan virus.
3. Too Many Vectors To Control
In cybersecurity terms, “vector” refers to the method of attack. For instance, someone could use your email as the attack vector by phishing you with a fake email from your bank. As we will talk about in the next section, mobile phones have become another important avenue of attack. All of this comes down to one thing: There are just too many access points to control them all.
When you consider the fact that billions of people use the internet every day, you realize that it is impossible to make all of those connections private and secure. It would be like walking into a room full of coronavirus victims and trying to avoid catching the virus. Regardless of your preparations, there are just too many angles of attack to watch.
Imagine for a moment that you are a security guard, and your job is to guard billions of doors at one time. Obviously, this would be completely impossible. That’s why integrated software and hardware solutions are the only long-term answer to the cybersecurity problem. Until that becomes a reality, the average person has to deal with that problem in whatever way they see fit.
4. Mobile Phone Attacks
Mobile phones have gone through a lot of changes since their invention, and now they are basically miniature computers. Of course, any computer can potentially be hacked, and a smartphone is no exception. In fact, smartphones are more appealing targets than PCs because of the fact that everyone uses them.
Here’s the hard part: There is no way to make a smartphone totally secure. For a device like this, security depends entirely on the user. For instance, many people have found security vulnerabilities in Apple’s “Siri” app. These vulnerabilities can sometimes allow people to access their entire phone without the password. The only way to avoid this threat is to turn Siri off.
5. Increasing Regulation
When it comes to cybersecurity, the stakes are much higher now than ever before. Some high-profile hacking incidents have resulted in massive financial losses and even greater damage in terms of customer trust. For instance, Uber has taken a large hit since being hacked and blackmailed by unknown parties in late 2016. While they are still in business, they will never have the same level of trust from their customers again.
With all this risk, it’s not surprising that governments and other regulatory bodies are starting to tighten the rules. Most of these rules are well-intentioned, and some of them are necessary. At the same time, governments have a tendency to over-regulate, and that will surely create problems for tech-driven businesses.
6. Government-Sanctioned Hackers
It is an unfortunate fact that computer hacking has been weaponized by many nations. While intelligence agencies have often been known to dabble in this kind of thing, the last ten years have seen a huge uptick in the number of state-sponsored hackers.
There are many cases in which one nation wants to attack another, but lacks the military strength to do so directly. Thus, their next best option is to hack the infrastructure of the opposing nation. There have recently been problems like this regarding Iran and several of its rivals.
As technology continues to advance, you can expect that this list will continue to grow. As you can probably see already, the single biggest factor in cybersecurity is the wariness and expertise of the user. While antivirus programs and the like may offer some help, they do not offer a total solution.
We hope that we have given you some valuable insights into the many cyber-threats which infest our world. If so, you can reward our efforts by filling out the contact form. That will allow us to bring you more informative articles like this one.