TrainACE - IT and Cybersecurity Training Blog

Cyber Security Trends in 2015

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 24, 2015 10:00:09 AM / by Jackie Somma

Cyber security breaches are becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted as the years go on, and your company is vulnerable even if they are not a major retailer involved in cutting-edge technology or high-risk information processing. Cyber security issues in 2015 run the gamut from mobile hacking to holding data for ransom. The level of sophistication that cyber criminals are using is increasing exponentially and no company is immune from cloud breaches, data theft, corporate espionage or social media targeting. Information continues to propagate and generate new threats, and determined criminals can target companies through high-tech malware, social networks and mobile devices. That's why security training and cyber certifications are becoming more essential regardless of your company's size or industry.

Top Computing Threats in 2015

The top threats to Internet security in 2015 involve more sophisticated targeting schemes, threats to point-of-sale systems and security breaches through the Internet of Things. Today's criminals play a long-term game by targeting customers for ongoing hacks through Advanced Persistent Threats or APTs. These attacks often remain unnoticed for longer periods than typical breaches, which allow various kinds of threats, data thefts and privacy breaches.

APTs and Targeting

Trends forecast ever-increasing APT threats in 2015 and beyond. The APTnotes repository identified three of these attacks in 2010 and a geometric progression to 53 attacks in 2014. Many attacks remain undiscovered until the malefactors who are responsible achieve their goals, and many more go unreported. Typical goals for APT attacks include:

  1. Gathering intelligence
  2. Gaining access to a partner or affiliate
  3. Generating competitive advantages for other companies or an industry
  4. Embarrassing an organization or damaging its reputation
  5. Getting direct financial advantages


These attacks typically target companies selectively to achieve specific goals, and identifying breaches is often difficult because they're designed to operate off the radar. Training in best practices, such as taking a course in Advanced Penetration Testing, helps your security professionals gain valuable insights into bypasses, evasions and cross-scripting vulnerabilities that could put your company at-risk for APT attacks.

POS-System Attacks

POS attacks include traditional brute-force methods like trying commonly used passwords. However, sophisticated POS attacks also include malware like JacksPos or Dexter, that could result in major attacks and huge thefts of customer information. Examples of these malware attacks include the Target fiasco, where 40 million ATM cards were compromised, and The Home Depot attack where 56 million cards were exposed during a period that ran from April to September. POS-system attacks in 2014 included at least 720 major breaches according to the United States Identity Theft Resource Center. Almost half of these breaches occurred in the health industry, a sector that typically views security as a factor of paramount importance. The evolving trade in alternative currencies like Bitcoins and Dogecoins also provides fertile ground for malware developers. Malware Analysis training could easily help your staff understand the risks of alternative payment options and devise strategies to protect against ransomware and other types of malware. Administrators and security professionals can learn through hands-on applications about how to reverse-engineer sections of code to discover suspicious instructions that modify registries and file systems, change how processes operate, capture information and hide or obscure processes. Basic training courses like the Security+ Course are ideal for understanding POS-system vulnerabilities. Ideal for network administrators, information professionals and security staff, this type of course provides an overview of security concepts, communications concerns, cryptography and organizational security that can help to improve operational efficiency, track consumer behavior, patch vulnerabilities and identify malware that could expose your POS system to breaches.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things consists of common devices that have embedded sensors to collect information and act on it. These objects include smart appliances, automobiles, meters, mobile devices and mobile applications. The Internet of Things even includes health devices like heart monitors and biochips. Ideally, these computing devices connect with the Internet to facilitate machine communications, provide warnings and control equipment and systems, but creative hackers can breach these devices to insert false data, listen to commands, determine behavior and mask physical and social attacks. The Security+ Course offers basic security knowledge that can help any company or industry to recognize possible vulnerabilities from the array of smart devices in common use. Cyber attacks don't always come from people with malicious intent, and even geeky students could damage your business while playing around with their smartphones, apps and devices. Training in Mobile Hacking can show your staff how easily anyone can use popular platforms to breach smartphones and mobile computing devices.

Cyber security has become an all-encompassing business concern no matter what industry your business is in or the level of computer sophistication you employ. Getting your staff trained offers astonishing insights into managing potential threats and identifying security trends. Even independent job seekers can benefit from certifications and training in how to handle the ever-increasing challenges of cyber security. At TrainACE we offer a large variety of courses and certifications in the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., area for security professionals, system and network administrators and information-assurance staffs. Sign up for our next available course today!

Topics: Uncategorized

Jackie Somma

Written by Jackie Somma

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