In the midst of businesses becoming GDPR compliant, cybersecurity measures have moved from purely technical, to political, according to a Tuesday report from AlienVault.

The company surveyed 900 security professionals at the Infosecurity Europe 2018 conference to gain insight into the current state of cybersecurity threats. Some 56% of respondents said they believe that cybersecurity is becoming a political pawn. This shift indicates that cybersecurity isn’t only infiltrating personal lives, but society as well.

SEE: Cybersecurity spotlight: The ransomware battle (Tech Pro Research)

However, data issues like GDPR compliance, or lack thereof, shouldn’t be the only focus for businesses. Here are the top five cybersecurity concerns for professionals in 2018.

1. Phishing

Phishing is the reigning winner of internal threats, with nearly 55% of participants agreeing it is the biggest risk, said the survey. AlienVault explained that it’s the human element of phishing that makes it appealing to cybercriminals. Unfortunately, no single precaution can be used to prevent a phishing attack, continued the report.

Most breaches are actually caused by human error, said the survey, highlighting the vitality of user awareness and education. However, AlienVault warned that user education alone isn’t enough–businesses need a multilayered defense of technology, processes, and people.

For more tips on how to spot a phishing email, check out this article.

2. Ransomware

Weighing in at 45%, ransomware was the second-highest internal worry for professionals. Since ransomware is a highly public threat, business pros feel even more pressure, having to respond to the security breach in the public spotlight, said the survey.

3. The cloud

Participants said they were growing concerned about possible attacks in the cloud, with 52% worried that cloud-based threats will become an increasing reality in the future. While the cloud is extremely useful to businesses, it can quickly turn into a threat if not secured properly, said the survey. Cloud functionality is still so new, however, that most threats have yet to be realized, continued the survey.


Industry observers are still waiting for a breach with GDPR, but until then, it brings a host of different concerns for business, said the survey. Companies have been forced to completely rearrange and reorganize management of customer records, said the survey. And failure to be compliant with GDPR standards can be a huge hit to businesses financially and socially, causing consumers to shy away from businesses that don’t protect their data.

5. Cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency mining is a relatively new trend, in which cybercriminals infect machines in order to commandeer their CPU power and steal Bitcoin, said the survey. Businesses still have some work to do to stay protected, with 29% of respondents not confident in their cryptomining protection and 24% unable to detect cryptomining activity.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Cybersecurity is not only infiltrating technology, but politics and society too, according to a survey from AlienVault.
  • The top cybersecurity concerns for businesses are phishing, ransomware, the cloud, GDPR, and cryptocurrency mining. — AlienVault, 2018