McAfee warns of top five threats to data security in 2018

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Security technology provider McAfee Inc. recently released its McAfee Labs 2018 Threats Predictions Report, which identifies five key trends to watch in 2018.

This year’s report focuses on the evolution of ransomware from traditional to new applications, the cyber security implications of serverless apps, the consumer privacy implications of corporations monitoring consumers in their own homes, long-term implications of corporations gathering children’s user-generated content, and the emergence of a machine learning innovation race between defenders and adversaries.

“The evolution of ransomware in 2017 should remind us of how aggressively a threat can reinvent itself as attackers dramatically innovate and adjust to the successful efforts of defenders,” said Steve Grobman, CTO for McAfee. “We must recognize that although technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence will be cornerstones of tomorrow’s cyber defenses, our adversaries are working just as furiously to implement and innovate around them.”

The report reflects the opinions of dozens of McAfee thought leaders from McAfee Labs, McAfee Advanced Threat Research, and members of the office of the CTO. It examines current trends in cybercrime and IT evolution, and anticipates what the future may hold for organizations working to take advantage of new technologies to provide better security protection:

  1. An adversarial machine learning “arms race” will develop between defenders and attackers.
  2. Ransomware will pivot from traditional extortion to new targets, technologies, and objectives.
  3. Serverless apps will save time and reduce costs, but will also increase attack surfaces for organizations implementing them.
  4. Connected home device manufacturers and service providers will seek to overcome thin profit margins by gathering more of our personal data—with or without our agreement—turning the home into a corporate store front.
  5. Corporations collecting children’s digital content will pose long-term reputation risks.
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