2019 Predictions: Email Attachments, IoT, and Cryptominers to be Security Pain Points

2019 Predictions: Email Attachments, IoT, and Cryptominers to be Security Pain Points

January 23, 2019 | Devika Jain

 
Data breaches in 2018 compromised personal information of millions of people around the world, most notably from large corporations such as Facebook, Marriott, T-Mobile and Quora. Seemingly every week there is a new breach reported, and consumers have taken notice. In the past year, the average number of overall daily searches for keywords such as “personal information disclosure” and “hacker” have been fluctuating at a very high level, indicating security as a human issue affecting the average consumer’s livelihood as opposed to being exclusively an information security issue.

With the general public’s focus shifting towards cyber security at an increasing rate, the focus of security vendors has evolved to making customers feel safe and secure moving forward. In 2019, we can expect to see the following emergences in security technology and trends:

IoT Will Be a Pain Point for DDoS Attacks

As the IoT revolution continues around the world, IoT devices will become a major target for DDoS attacks in 2019. Most think of their smart home device when they hear the term IoT, but the most common devices are routers and cameras. Routers make up 69.7% of IoT devices exploited to launch DDoS attacks, and 24.7% of cameras in 2017. This is because a great number of routers and web cameras have been introduced into production and living environments, with no sufficient security measures enforced. IoT devices are on track to outnumber the world’s population and projected increase to over 20 billion by 2020, so we have every reason to believe that attacks leveraging the IoT will become more diverse in the future.

Malicious Email Attacks are On the Rise

Malicious emails have become an important infection path for various malicious codes in recent years. Malicious mails use methods to trick users into opening a malicious attachment file or clicking a malicious website link, in a bid to infect the users with various viruses and cause direct economic losses. These mail-based attacks against enterprises have become quite common and can greatly impact their bottom line and the trust of their customers. According to recent statistics, Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks have caused greater economic losses even than ransomware. We should expect to see this continue into 2019.

Expect Cryptominers to Spread

Cryptomining activities rose sharply from March-December of 2018 compared to the beginning of the year due to various malicious cryptominers expanding their efforts. In 2019, expect cryptominers to continue their trajectory of becoming increasingly active as they did in 2018. Among all cryptominers, WannaMine was the most active in 2017, responsible for more than 70% of all detected cryptomining activities. WannaCry was the most popular of 2018 and cryptominers are always actively looking for the next lucrative cryptomining activity.

WAF Adoption Will Move Ahead of Projections

Gartner predicted in 2016 that “by year-end 2020, more than 70% of public web applications protected by a web application firewall (WAF) will use WAFs delivered as a cloud service or internet-hosted virtual appliance…”.  Based on NSFOCUS customer requirements seen to date, this might occur by the end of 2019, a year early.  To combat this quick evolution of WAF adoption, new cloud security vendors will arrive offering an array of cloud security services to try and differentiate from the pack.

By familiarizing themselves with these trends and emerging threats, security vendors can better anticipate the needs of their customers and provide them with a better sense of security in the new year.

See our predictions included in industry publications: