The manner of evolution of ransomware from the traditional form to its new applications, the cybersecurity impacts of serverless apps and the consumer privacy impacts of corporations that monitor consumers in their own homes, are among the issues that have been focused on in the McAfee Inc. report on cyber threat and security predictions for the coming year.
Among other threats highlighted for 2018 by the cyber security firm is the issue of the impact in the long-term of companies colleting content created by children and the advent of rave driven by innovation in machine learning between the defenders and adversaries.
“The year 2018 could well be remembered most for how we finally started to tackle data protection and for whether consumers truly have the right to be forgotten”, the report said.
“The evolution of ransomware in 2017 should remind us of how aggressively a threat can reinvent itself as attackers dramatically innovate and adjust to the successful efforts of defenders,” said Steve Grobman, Chief Technology Officer for McAfee, LLC. “We must recognize that although technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence will be cornerstones of tomorrow’s cyber defenses, our adversaries are working just as furiously to implement and innovate around them. As is so often the case in cybersecurity, human intelligence amplified by technology will be the winning factor in the ‘arms race’ between attackers and defenders.”
The report predicts that for companies and organizations to be able to effectively address the issue of machine learning, they need to use human judgement and their strategic intellect to augment judgments made by intelligent machines and of orchestrated responses. This would allow such companies to adequately understand and anticipate the trends of cyber-attacks even though some of the attacks might not have existed before.
The report further predicts that traditional ransomware would see a change as hackers would use the technologies for purposes that are beyond aims of simple extortion of individuals and have objectives like cyber sabotage and disruption of organizations.
“While much about the motives behind WannaCry and NotPetya are still debated, the use of pseudo ransomware is likely to continue, partly due to the ease with which as-a-service providers can make such techniques available to anybody with the means to pay,” said Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and head of McAfee Advanced Threat Research.
“Such attacks could be sold to parties seeking to paralyze national, political and business rivals, which raises perhaps the biggest, unavoidable ransomware question of 2017: Were WannaCry and NotPetya actually ransomware campaigns that failed in their objectives to make significant revenue? Or perhaps incredibly successful wiper campaigns?”
There would also be a tendency among corporates to note and record consumer behavior – with or without permission from the consumer. This would be possible, according to the report, as customers rarely read privacy agreements. The cyber security firm believes that there would be more instances where corporations would break existing laws and pay fines and still continue with such practices.
2018 is also predicted to be a year where parents would get more aware about how companies make wrongful use of digital content that are generated by children.
“The year 2018 could well be remembered most for how we finally started to tackle data protection and for whether consumers truly have the right to be forgotten,” said Vincent Weafer, Vice President at McAfee Labs.
(Adapted from Businesswire.com)