Top 5 External Threats Of 2017

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Cyber intelligence firm BrandProtect came up with a list of the top 5 threats to watch out for in 2017.

As we move closer and closer to the new year, companies are seeing the same threats hurt their businesses. BrandProtect predicts the top 5 threats of 2017 will include:

Fake News

We witnessed a proliferation of fake news stories centered around the election this year, but fake news is not partial to politics. False claims about a company can have a major financial impact. We saw this with Avon last year, and FitBit a month ago.  The amount of fake news and social media will increase even more next year. Active monitoring is essential to detect fake news, including hidden user forums, and react in real time. To learn more, here is BrandProtect’s recent blog post on fake news.

Ransomware/Malware

More than 200,000 new malware samples were found everyday in the first half of 2016 according to the APWG’s Crimeware statistics.  This was down just slightly compared to 2015, but that doesn’t signal any kind of relief. It’s just an indicator that the fraudsters are turning to easily modified malware and ransomware variants. Develop kits for malware and ransomware exploits are becoming the norm, not the exception.  Now, for an investment of just a few thousand dollars, anyone can be in the ransomware business.

Socially Engineered Attacks

BrandProtect’s own research found numerous duplicate Twitter and LinkedIn accounts among Fortune 500 CEOs.  Every duplicate account represents a risk to an enterprise, and a potential launching pad for socially engineered attacks.  By using a trusted name, socially engineered attacks increase the likelihood of success.  A 2016 Ponemon research report, sponsored by BrandProtect, revealed “an astonishing 79% of security teams do not feel that they have processes in place to gain actionable intelligence about external threats.” Companies should proactively monitor for these types of threats “beyond the perimeter.”

Mobile Threats

Mobile app fraud posed a serious threat to Black Friday shoppers and retailers this season.  This year, even Apple had to purge hundreds of apps from its official app store, tainting the Apple ecosystem’s reputation of being safe.  Personal phone and other mobile devices continue to be a weak link in the security chain. Not only are they platforms where phishing emails and other schemes are likely to be effective, they represent a unique information conduit to business and personal networks, plus the PII found in address books. The rise of fake apps, and their consequences, will continue in 2017.  Mobile monitoring is the only solution to take down these threats to business.

 Ordinary Phish

According to the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG), the number of phishing websites hit an all time high in Q2 of 2016. As we enter 2017, BrandProtect expects this trend to continue, likely reaching another all-time high in 2017.


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