It’s always been a war out there in Cyberworld and now, in 2019, it’s only going to get worse. This is because malicious malware authors continue to innovate, and this year is no different—in fact, cybercriminals and hackers are looking forward to stepping up their game to become more effective in stealing precious business data and just wreaking havoc overall.
Here are the biggest malware threats and trends to watch out for in 2019.
If you haven’t heard of fileless malware yet, you surely will this 2019—unfortunately. While this trend actually started several years ago, it is projected to be more commonplace this year. It infects targeted PCs and leaves behind no artifacts on the local hard drive. This makes it easy to sidestep traditional signature-based security and forensics tools. Fileless malware attacks by exploiting the vulnerabilities in browsers and any associated programs like Java, Flash, or PDF readers, for instance. Fileless malware can also attack via phishing.
And because this type of malware is often difficult to detect, your company’s system admin will have his or her hands full trying to come up with a solution.
Ransomware is commonly known as a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. And although ransomware is usually aimed at individuals, it’s only a matter of time before business is targeted as well—which is why organizations should be on the lookout for this type of malware this 2019.
In fact, one of the most well-known ransomware attacks in 2018 occurred when the city of Atlanta was extorted for $51,000 in a ransomware attack that impacted several local government departments.
Card-Skimming Malware or Magecart
In 2018, multiple large-scale online retailers revealed that their sites were infected by card-skimming malware. These online retailers include Ticketmaster, British Airways, electronics retailer Newegg and Sotheby’s.
This type of malware, dubbed Magecart by information security professionals, refers to cyber attacks in which hackers implant malicious computer code into websites and third-party suppliers of digital systems to steal credit-card information as online buyers enter it at a checkout page. And while the digital theft of credit-card info, known as skimming, is not really new, attacks on payment pages and smaller companies represent a persistent threat that has proven so successful that it has spawned its own small cottage industry. And there is really no reason to think that this type of malware is going to go gently into the night this year; on the contrary, it is projected to continue into 2019.
Malvertising is the name that security professionals give to criminally controlled adverts that intentionally infect computers, both used individually and by businesses. It is a portmanteau of “malware” and “advertising.” And as its name suggests, malvertising can insert itself on any ad on any legitimate website—often ones that everyday users visit as part of their everyday Internet usage.
Malvertising is projected to continue to gain traction in 2019. In fact, this year, it is projected that malvertising will move even more into the mobile space, which can create more damage since smartphones nowadays are the preferred gadget of choice for businesspeople on the go.
The Bottom Line
So what can be done, especially by business owners, to protect their systems and—by extension—their sensitive data? The best option is still to tap a reputable IT solutions provider to stay ahead of emerging threats, especially the malware threats and trends we just discussed throughout this article.
NST, for example, has a wide range of services that can help you take care of your business security needs.