Dell has released the results of its Dell Security Annual Threat Report which investigates the top cybercrime trends of 2015 and identifies emerging trends we expect to see in 2016. Following one of the most climatic years in terms of cybersecurity and cyber-crime, we can expect even more to come in 2016, according to Dell’s top cybersecurity experts.  The report claims 2015 saw a 73 percent increase in malware samples raising the number to 64 million unique samples, ultimately leading to 2.17 trillion IPS attacks and 8.19 billion malware attacks. Dell also suggests “breaches in 2015 succeeded not because the victims lacked security altogether, but because thieves found and exploited a small hole in their security program.” Key 2015 cybercrime trends include:

  • Exploit kits evolved to stay one step ahead of security systems, with greater speed, heightened stealth and novel shapeshifting abilities
  • Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption continued to surge, leading to under-the-radar hacks affecting at least 900 million users in 2015
  • Malware for the Android ecosystem continued to rise compared to 2014, putting the lion’s share of the smartphone market at risk
  • Malware attacks nearly doubled to 8.19 billion; popular malware families continued to morph from season to season and differed across geographic regions

Based on Dell’s 2015 observations and expertise in the industry, key 2016 predictions include:

  • The battle between HTTPS encryption and threat scanning will continue to rage, as companies fear performance trade-offs
  • Many Flash zero-day viruses were discovered and exploited in 2015. However, this number will drop gradually because major browser vendors, such as Google and Mozilla, have stopped supporting Flash plugins.
  • Malicious threats will target Android Pay through the vulnerabilities of Near Field Communication (NFC). These attacks may leverage malicious Android apps and point-of-sale (POS) terminals, tools that are easy to acquire and manipulate for hackers.
  • In July 2015, Wired magazine reported that two hackers remotely gained control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee. There are few cars currently equipped with Android Auto, but with time, the number is expected to grow. We can expect malicious entities to invade this new frontier soon, possibly via ransomware (where the victim must pay to exit the vehicle) or even more dangerous intent.

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