A Look Back At The Top Cybersecurity Threats Of 2015

Dec 22, 2015

A Look Back At The Top Cybersecurity Threats Of 2015

BY Chris Brunau

Cybersecurity

It felt like a new cybersecurity threat was making headlines every other week this year, thanks to some major data breaches, attacks and scams. With high-profile cases like the Anthem breach affecting millions of customers, we saw how dangerous these threats can really be. As 2015 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest cybersecurity threats.

Data Breaches: 2015 was a big year for major data breaches, according to CRN. One of the largest instances included the healthcare breach of Anthem which affected approximately 80 million people. The breach exposed personal information including patient records, social security numbers and income information. The Office Of Personnel Management was also hit by a major breach affecting 21.5 million workers. Similar to the Anthem attack, information such as social security numbers as well as educational and employment history was exposed.

CryptoLocker: This advanced ransomware trojan can be quite a nuisance for any type of data, especially business data. According to a Kaspersky Lab report, the amount of CryptoLocker attacks on corporate data in 2015 doubled from last year. Their research found over half of corporate PCs were hit with at least one attempted malware infection, up from 2014. Some new CryptoLocker threats emerged in 2015, with ransomware for Linux machines, as well as TeslaCrypt that targeted computer games. For more on dealing with CryptoLocker, read our recent success story.

Phishing: We saw an increase in phishing attacks over the past year. Google’s Safe Browsing service detected 33,571 phishing sites in 2015, an increase from 24,864 in 2014. These attacks have become more sophisticated in some instances and much more difficult to spot than in the past. InfoWorld highlighted some of the ways these attacks have evolved, and why the threat may be worse than ever. Thanks to new strategies like encryption and email monitoring; these attacks can be custom-built for their victims and harder to detect. 

Cybersecurity is certainly a major issue, as evident through the recent bill. Although it has been met with concerns over privacy of personal data, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is intended to help with investigations and improve overall security. Supporters say the bill will help thwart attacks by encouraging companies to share threat information with the government, according to Mashable.

When it comes to avoiding these cybersecurity threats, your best defense may be education. If you’re familiar with these various types of attacks, you’ll be better equipped to protect and avoid losing critical business data. Oh yeah, and also remember to backup your data!

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