The top cyberthreats businesses will face in 2019 are a mixture of old and new breach targets, according to Experian's sixth annual Data Breach Industry Forecast report, released Monday. These predictions feature two new breach frontiers—biometrics and gaming—showing how cyberattackers are becoming increasingly clever.
With the average global cost of a data breach rising to $3.86 million, companies need to be aware of all potential threats to best protect their networks.
"Hackers have become very nimble at outsmarting protection measures. Cybercriminals always seem to stay a step ahead of new security gates," said Michael Bruemmer, vice president of data breach resolution at Experian, in a press release. "Our predictions look at where hackers may go next to exploit vulnerabilities so companies can safeguard themselves against these future threats."
Experian identified the following five data breach predictions for 2019:
1. Attackers will zero in on biometric hacking and expose vulnerabilities in touch ID sensors, facial recognition and passcodes. Biometric data is considered the most secure method of authentication, but it can be stolen or altered, and sensors can be manipulated and spoofed or deteriorate with too much use.
2. Skimming is the next frontier for an enterprisewide attack on a major financial institution's national network, which could result in millions of losses. Credit card skimmers are hidden devices designed to steal card information and passcodes. Criminals are now going after bank networks — moving beyond attacking individual ATMs by loading malware into entire computer systems.
3. A major wireless carrier will be attacked with a simultaneous effect on both iPhones and Android, stealing personal information from millions of consumers and possibly disabling all wireless communications in the United States. Similar to an attack on critical infrastructure, a serious disruption to a wireless network would halt the nation.
4. It's a matter of when, not if, a top cloud vendor will suffer a breach, compromising the sensitive information of major companies. The only question is how long it will take hackers to go to the cloud, affecting the world's largest companies and potentially billions of pieces of data.
5. The online gaming community will be an emerging hacker target, with cybercriminals posing as gamers and gaining access to the computers and personal data of trusting players. A cybercriminal can easily pose as a gamer or take over an avatar to infiltrate games and communities, stealing personal and credit card information and valuable game pieces and tokens.
Business can take several steps to protect their networks from data breaches, including security any Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and segmenting their network, RedSeal CEO Ray Rothrock told TechRepublic.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The top cyberthreats of 2019 include both new and old threat vectors, showing how clever cybercriminals are becoming. — Experian, 2018
- The threats will target biometrics, financial institutions national network, major wireless carriers, top cloud vendors ,and online gaming communities. — Experian, 2018
- IT leader's guide to cyberattack recovery (TechRepublic)
- Exponential risk: The mathematical case for an AI toolkit in enterprise cyber security (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a cybersecurity pro (TechRepublic)
- Man-in-the-middle attacks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- What is ransomware? Everything you need to know about one of the biggest menaces on the web (ZDNet)
- Top 4 security threats businesses should expect in 2019 (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.