Cyber Attacks in 2017: Who is the Next Target?

We’re getting close to the end of 2016 and people are already thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone at Sentar hopes you’ll resolve to be a more secure cyber citizen. Change your passwords! Stop clicking on those links in email you receive from people or companies you don’t know. Pick up the phone and talk more often. 

2017 is expected to have severe issues caused by cyber attacks, including expectation that “hackers could hurt the American economy by, among other things, taking down huge parts of the national electricity grid.”

Before you peer into the future, here’s the facts on 2016 cyber attacks that we know of, to date, as reported in this article posted by

“Identity Theft Resource Center reports that there have been 957 data breaches recorded this year through December 6, 2016, with more than 35 million records exposed. Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC has counted 6,766 breaches, involving more than 886 million records.”

Hacking and cyber attacks continue to grow and shift. It has become just as important to understand the trends and changes in attack vectors as it is to install a good firewall.

Forecasters at Forrester Research in this article recently predicted that the next U.S. president can expect a “major cybercrisis” as companies “grapple with how to defend against escalating, dynamic security and privacy risk.” The researchers lay the blame to a large extent on the increasing complexity and vulnerability of the Internet of Things.

Here are five specific predictions for 2017 from the Forrester researchers:

  • A Fortune 1000 company will fail because of a cyberbreach.
  • Healthcare breaches will become as common as retail breaches.
  • More than 500,000 internet-of-things devices will be compromised.
  • Within 100 days, the new US president will face a major cybercrisis.
  • National security risks will drive agencies to expand surveillance technologies, creating legal and ethical conflicts between governments and people.

And the hits just keep on coming as Experian’s analysts point out in their latest Data Breach Industry Forecast. They predict the health care industry to be hackers’ most heavily targeted sector in 2017.

No company is without risk, especially Small Businesses, as this 2016 Verizon Data Breach Report confirms that nearly 60% of the security incidents with confirmed data loss occurred in small companies, those with fewer than 1,000 employees.

And no person or position is safe, as this recent report from the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity states. Their analysts have some critical advice for the next president and all of our business, educational and political leaders:

“If our digital economy is to thrive, it must be secure. That means that every enterprise in our society—large and small companies, government at all levels, educational institutions, and individuals—must be more purposefully and effectively engaged in addressing cyber risks. They must also have greater accountability and responsibility for their own security, which, as we now know all too well, directly impacts the cybersecurity of our country.”

The report’s Action Item 4.1.1 pointed out:

“The next President should initiate a national cybersecurity workforce program to train 100,000 new cybersecurity practitioners by 2020.”

If you are concerned about the cyber security of your company, we can help! Sentar’s Subject Matter Experts spend most of their days, weeks and years upping their own game while helping the most targeted Government Agencies defend themselves against the most complex, advanced and diligent cyber attacks from the worst of nation states and dark web attackers.

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