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What we can expect from IT security in 2019

By INDI SIRINIWASA, Vice President of Trend Micro Sub-Saharan Africa

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The last three years in IT innovation have laid the foundation for even greater changes within the technology sphere. While some of these changes will simply build on developments in IoT, AI, smart industries and smart homes as well as the cloud, others such as the impending rollout of 5G will herald in even newer innovations and introduce even greater security concerns.

If we look beyond just technology and turn our attention to large scale global events where technology plays a major role, 2019 is set to bring out the cybercriminals in their droves as we are poised to see the finalisation of Brexit, a number of international sporting events such as  the 2019 World Cup Rugby and a host of country elections, not to mention national elections right here in South Africa. All of these create a prime hunting ground for cyber criminals.

We may not think that cyber attacks and the World Cup Rugby are in anyway connected, but they are. Cyber criminals use world events to disperse fake news, which is particularly damaging during political events and elections. One way in which these are used as a tool by cyber criminals is that major sports events are often leveraged to send out emails with malicious links, or to extort money from their victims.

According to research we’ve done at Trend Micro, exploit kits were widely used in 2018 to distribute malware, however, there has also been an increased return to the old tried-and-tested methods of social engineering and phishing. Building on this, in 2019 we will most likely see a rise in SMS phishing as hackers try to obtain banking and other personal details from users. Notably, accounts used for cloud storage and cloud services will also be targeted in 2019.

Click here to read more about chatbots used in phishing, compromised business email, and other cyber security issues.

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