Technology is a consistently evolving field. While this is certainly great for end users who are constantly having their problems solved, those actually working with these tools very often find that it’s difficult to keep up with the latest changes. This is nowhere more apparent than within cybersecurity. Much like other technological fields, hacking innovations don’t come out of nowhere. They build upon previous iterations, trying to improve what worked before and leaving behind what didn’t. In this way, many of today’s threats are both extremely familiar and yet entirely new. Regardless, those working in cybersecurity have a duty to keep their minds sharp and focused on how their industry is changing. Therefore, what are the biggest trends in the field right now, and how can professionals ensure that they stay up to date on these issues?
What’s new on the scene?
Before delving into how cybersecurity specialists can stay informed, let’s first take a look at what’s currently on the horizon for the industry:
- Ransomware: Ransomware became a huge issue in 2016, and its influence has been felt in just about every area of life. Both individuals and entire businesses have fallen victim to this malware that encrypts the user’s data and forces them to pay money to get it back. Many in the industry are predicting ransomware attacks will continue to get bigger in scale, with the most recent example being the attack on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency that affected 2,112, according to The Register.
- Typosquatting: This is more of a problem for end users, but it is something cybersecurity experts should know about. This term has to do with hackers gaining access to URLs that sound similar to large sites. A hacker could theoretically sit on Gooogle.com in the hopes that people will type that instead of Google.com and would therefore be able to distribute malware.
- Internet of Things issues: As the IoT continues to grow, hackers are seeing the advantages behind owning these everyday internet-connected devices. One notable example of how this can quickly get out of hand is the distributed denial-of-service attack that hit DNS provider Dyn. Many of the machines involved in the attack were IoT devices that were conglomerated into a botnet by the Mirai malware, according to TechTarget’s Peter Loshin.
Follow the experts
When you’re trying to stay current with the latest trends in cybersecurity, it is beneficial to listen to people who have made a name for themselves in the industry. A solid voice of authority in this area is Brian Krebs. Krebs proved his worth in the field after becoming the first news source to break the Target data breach story in 2013. His influence is so widespread that his own website was hit by one of the biggest distributed denial-of-service attacks in internet history. This particular assault was apparently in response to Krebs researching into cybercriminals who use DDoS attacks to their advantage. Outside of individual people, it will also help to stay on top of reports put out by reputable companies. Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report has some good insights, and McAfee’s 2017 Threats Predictions can help you prepare for the new year.
Pore over every reported cyberattack
Another great way to ensure you’re up to date on the latest in cybersecurity is to simply read up on any major attacks in the news. One of the most noteworthy breaches was the discovery in 2016 that around one billion Yahoo accounts had been hacked. According to Krebs, one of the reasons the cybercriminals were able to get their hands on account information was that the passwords were stored with MD5 hashing. As Krebs explained, the high computing power that most hackers now have makes MD5 nearly worthless, which is certainly scary considering that many organizations still use this security technique.
Get trained by Experienced Professionals
If you want to further your career in cybersecurity, you’re going to have to go back to school at some point. Many jobs in the field require professionals to receive a master’s degree, and doing so can seriously open your current and future opportunities. Of course, you’re going to want to ensure you get trained by cybersecurity professionals, which is why anyone looking to advance themselves in this field should consider a Master of Science in Cyber Security from Maryville University. The program is designed to give you the skill set needed to understand current security techniques while also giving you the ability to adapt to whatever the future might hold. The faculty has a wealth of real-world cybersecurity experience that is used to teach real world situations happening within the field. Staying current with cybersecurity may be a constant task, but working in this industry puts you on the cutting edge of technology. Not only can it be a lucrative field, it also offers the ability to make a difference in the world.