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9 Web Security Challenges that will continue to Exasperate in 2015

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Looking back at the year 2014 was a year of the mega data breach, which has influenced most retailers like Target, Sally Beauty, Michaels, and many more. Apart from this, software vulnerability was found on a large scale as an evolving threat that was observed in 2014 year. So let’s see what is stored in 2015 for us?

Whether we can mitigate cybercrime to an appropriate level or it will evolve in a severe way. One thing is sure that malware/threat creators and their protectors will have intensified conflict.

Here, we are going to narrate 9 security challenges for the 2015 year which web users should take into consideration.

1. IOT- A potential danger:

The number of IoT (Internet of Things) devices connected to the Internet is growing extensively and potentially risky for people due to their inter-connectivity. Symantec expects that plug-and-play devices like security cameras, alarms, lighting, and climate control devices are at risk and cybercriminals could misuse them.

Less security is responsible for IoT devices (home routers, smart TVs, car apps) that could welcome hackers to take advantage of such devices. IoT devices can put sensitive information at risk while transmitting it with each other due to lack of encryption, so attackers can easily intercept it.

IoT devices make our life easy, but without proper inbuilt security, they can pose risks to our privacy. To mitigate the risk associated with IoT devices, individuals and organizations should confirm the way in which the device is accessed and where the device collects the information.

2. Mobile Device – A ripe fruit for attackers:

With the increasing demand for a Smartphone, it seems like ripe fruit for cybercriminals. All reasons that can harm your dearer Smartphone.

  • Individuals now store their confidential information on their smartphones.
  • They download apps from third-party sources.
  • They do not keep basic antivirus security.
  • Individuals do online transactions without keeping security in mind.

Moreover, cloud storage can be accessed (ie. Google Drive) via Smartphone that stores huge data, and attackers will have a huge data resource.

Numerous apps in Android platforms have vulnerabilities and cyber culprits could employ banking malware, Blackhole exploit kit, master key vulnerabilities, or third-party vulnerabilities to exploit the device. According to Trend Micro, in 2014, nearly 4 million android threats have been recorded, which would possibly increase to 8 million in 2015.

3. POS Systems:

Retail breaches are on high and affect the world’s well-known retail brands. The reason behind these breaches is malware intrusion on the POS (Point-Of-Sale) system.

Hackers were successful in exploiting POS systems by installing malware with various techniques like ram scrapper, software update tool, compromise of admin system, brute force attack. Such malware is able to collect credit card numbers of system memory and capture data from inter-process communication.

In 2014, a major retail breach happened on Target, P.F. Chang, Dairy Queen, and Home Depot. All these retail stores were breached due to malware intrusion on the POS system.

Traditional antivirus fails to detect variant of POS malware hence, it works silently on the system. Cybercriminals take huge time and money to develop malware against the retail industry. In 2015, the small retailers would also be the next target of cyber culprits.

4. Underground Selling Data:

Experts believe that in 2015, selling underground data will increase, as hackers are inventing new techniques to find a loophole in the enterprise system.

However, it is not very easy to crack down on cyber culprits because of the wide usage of the internet that can make someone stay anonymous over the web.

Many computers used in cybercrime are hacked or controlled by somebody far away. When cybercriminals target any organization, it can cause a serious issue for the organization’s customer’s results into receiving more spam or phishing emails, attached malicious files that could take control of a customer’s PC.

Criminals purchase the Darknet services (a private network) or untraceable P2P (Peer-to-Peer) network, including Tor, I2P, and sell & buy other services & tools in the underground market.

Criminals use the TLD domain to conceal the identity of the underground markets like Silk Road. As the suppliers are increasing in the underground, the prices of stolen information have been decreasing.

For example, the price of credit card data has declined from $3 to $1 in 2013. Facebook’s stolen credentials, cost $100 in 2013 versus $300 in 2011.

5. Ransomware Scams in Light:

According to one report, in 2013 Ransomware frauds grew by 500%; this growth was due to the success of Cryptolocker ransomware.

Cryptolocker encrypts files and asks for a payment amount to decrypt them. It not only encrypts the files but also targets shared network files. Currently, attackers use an electronic payment system like Bitcoin, Webmoney to get the paid ransom amount.

Cyber culprits can remain anonymous and damage businesses & customers by exploiting data, files, etc. Ransomware can enter into the PC system via a few techniques like enticing users to buy antivirus, clicking on the malicious pop-ups or advertisements, visiting an infected website.

To mitigate this malware, users should enable firewall and antivirus in a PC, avoid inside links in emails and enable pop-up blockers.

In the next few years, this idea will work as a great tool for cybercriminals, as encryption is still in a pioneer stage and many users are still not aware of encryption or adopt encryption.

6. Financially Motivated Threats:

The finance sector has always been a soft target for hackers and there has been a gradual increase in online banking malware in the last few months.

Zeus malware, VAWTRAK are some examples of banking malware that affected thousands of customers in Japan. Even two-factor authentication failed against the Emmental operations run by hackers.

With the growing use of smartphones, hackers are now targeting devices that are being used for banking transactions. Trend Micro believes that fake applications, DNS name changes, and the mobile phishing attack will upset the financial sector that will not only gain customers’ credentials but will also steal their identities.

7. DDoS- Still a Hurdle:

DNS (Domain Name System) and NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers are the main targets of cybercriminals to make a DDoS attack successful. DNS and NTS amplification attack impersonates the server and sends a small request in reply; the server sends an overwhelming number of packets to the victim resulting in flooding the victim’s network.

The DNS amplification attack is able to enhance the size of the attack up to 54 times using SNMP, NetBIOS, and other protocols to begin amplification attacks. Many experts believe that in 2015, the amplification attack will make new headlines. Organizations should set up proper security to lessen large-scale DDOS attacks.

8. Decades Old Source Code:

It is time to rethink the decades-old source code in many platforms to avoid potential vulnerability in Open source platforms. Attackers can easily gain access to such platforms to exploit the old written code, which can put thousands of users at risk.

In 2015, attackers will target new applications to make them vulnerable. The use of third-party tools is increasing, so the adoption of open source programming in new software and services has really surpassed.

Unfortunately, security is not built into software development cycles and third parties are never properly scrutinized during code integration.

9. A path ahead in SSL security (SHA1 to SHA2):

As cybercrime is evolving, there is a requirement for better security from the business and customer point-of-view. Recently Google has announced sunsetting the use of the SHA1 algorithm in the upcoming version of Google Chrome Browser.

It shows that SSL security indeed upgraded protection for online transactions. By following Google’s announcement we have started to provide SHA2 enabled certificates to all our prospective customers. In the future SSL protocol will have higher bit encryption and modern algorithm to protect unwanted cyber frauds.

Conclusion:

The above-given web security predictions of the 2015 year help organizations, developers, individuals as well security experts to prepare against the potential worst situation that could happen in near future. The time has come for web users to stop the evolving cybercrime by taking proper security precautions.

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