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Cybercrime: What to expect for the rest of 2017 and how to prepare

By Ashton Young
Wed 9 Aug 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

​So far this year, we have already borne witness to a multitude of serious cybercrime – and that’s only the cases that have been reported.

2017 has shown that that we are all vulnerable to cyber threats, having dealt with such such major scandals as election hacking, two major global ransomware attacks, and a general rise in hacking.

So what do we have to look forward to for the second half of the year? NordVPN has put together a list of what they believe will be on the cards:

Phishing campaigns to continue becoming more sophisticated

Already criminals have proven this year that’re now equipped to create emails that look like typical invoices or letters from banks about account updates or missed payments.

The VPN provider conducted a survey of Internet users where 94 percent of Internet users say they’re able to recognise a phishing email, however, almost half of them will click on a dangerous link.

Ransomware will continue its rise

World companies have serious susceptibilities to ransomware – as the recent spate of attacks have proved. And while there is a lot big companies don’t take it seriously, there will be criminals taking advantage.

According to NordVPN, 94 percent of companies in the UK said they believed IT security was important, but only 56% have a strategy in place in case of cyber attacks.

Government involvement in data collection to keep increasing

Governments around the world are strengthening their surveillance laws. For example, the British government is now able to force companies to hack their own customers, even by inserting malware into their devices.

This can be risky, however, as massive collected data can easily be mishandled, as the Swedish government can attest with its recent accidental leak of personal details of almost all its citizens.

ISP data collection

The U.S. has recently passed a law allowing ISPs to collect customer data without their consent and share it with third parties.

This includes precise geolocation, financial information, health information and web browsing history.

Hackers will gain access to more platforms

Currently hackers predominantly attack Windows platforms, but NordVPN expects they will soon become sophisticated enough to attack iOS and Android, as well as Linux and macOS.

More distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on IoT devices

The surge of IoT has meant the number of properly unsecured devices has greatly increased over the past few years – and NordVPN says it’s only the beginning.

With the amount of smart home gadgets soaring, hackers can launch DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on a scale never seen before, involving botnets or extortion attempts.

“Internet users should regularly delete cookies, maintain strong spam filters and authentication. It’s crucial to install anti-virus and anti-tracking software, and make sure not to enter personal passcodes and credit card information when using open Wi-Fi networks,” says Mary P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN.

“Organisations should train their employees to recognize phishing scams and they should have a system where such scams can be quickly reported.”

According to Kamden, particularly with the new level of Internet surveillance arising, privacy becomes a luxury that is not so easy to obtain.

“There is more than one example when our personal data is being mishandled even in presumably safe hands. Therefore, one of the best-known methods to keep your information private and encrypted is a VPN,” says Kamden.

“A VPN encrypts user data through a secure tunnel before accessing the Internet – this protects any sensitive information about one’s location by hiding their IP address.”

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