The New Year is upon us and as always, it’s time to look back on the past and make educated predictions about what’s to come.

In just the first half of 2018, data breaches of major companies saw 219 records stolen every second with the whole year on track to see almost 70 billion records breached by the end. That’s an astonishing number that should give any IT professional or security specialist a moment of pause.

But what does 2019 hold for us? There are four major cyber security risk areas that look to be of greatest import this year:

1. Mobile Apps and Devices

More and more, people are accessing the Internet less from desktops and laptops instead opting for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in greater numbers.

Many are using apps for these devices to conduct a variety of business tasks, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Just this past year, Facebook and Instagram experienced data breaches that disrupted service and left personal data exposed.

Because of this, it’s anticipated that mobile apps will see more of a focus from hackers who can insert malicious code into these apps, potentially stealing passwords or other data. The security ratings of these apps need to be under greater scrutiny as should what you post on social media websites linked from these apps.

2. Home-Based Computers

Going hand-in-hand with the last point is the fact more people are now accessing their work computers from devices at home. By allowing employees to log in from home, employers are seeing an increase in productivity and fewer “lost” work hours.

However, this also leaves the company’s server more open to attack as many of these employee home devices are either unsecured or not as secure as they may think that they are.

IT departments should maintain a clear protocol of how workers log in. Instruction on how to best secure those devices that they use is best practice as well.

3. Third Party Vendors

One of the biggest areas of concern involves software designed for your company by third party vendors. These are firms that many of us put our faith and trust in to keep our business’s secure and our data safe.

As part of the process in contracting with these vendors, businesses must begin taking a closer look at the third party’s reputation when it comes to cybersecurity. If a vendor has had a breach, you need to know so you can make an informed decision about their level of security. You’ll need to consider if you wish to entrust them with your information or connection to your computer server.

4. Ransomware

Ransomware has proven to be very profitable for hackers. In 2018, it is predicted that ransomware will cost business over $11 billion.

With this much success, it should come as no surprise that hackers will continue to try to exploit networks with this type of malware. Often ransomware viruses are installed as a result of phishing attacks, so users should be very aware of how to avoid falling victim of what may appear to be legitimate messages, but which are really attempts at installing ransomware on a network server.

As with any year, due diligence and vigilance is essential to maintain security. Failure to do this could potentially put your company’s data and its reputation at risk. New Edge Technology Solutions wants you to be aware and proactive in protecting your health information.  Find out more about NETS and how we’re protecting businesses every day.

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