Security firms are warning consumers about an uptick in holiday cyber threats, cautioning online shoppers to watch which sites and links they click on during the upcoming holiday season. While cyber crime normally spikes during the holidays, particularly as more Americans choose to buy from online retailers, researchers from several prominent security firms are flagging new tactics that could come up this season.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are at hand, which means retailers have been working extra hard behind the scenes to ensure their websites and security-savvy customers are well-protected from the cyber Grinches. Indeed, 50% of 2,011 US consumers recently surveyed by Sophos said they are very concerned about getting hacked and would not buy from a retailer that has been in the news for not protecting personal information either online or in-store. Another 32% said they are somewhat concerned and would consider an alternative company to buy from instead.
In August, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro claimed he was the target of a drone-borne explosive assassination attempt. While some sources assert that the entire episode may have been staged to assist Maduro in consolidating power in distressed Venezuela, the incident highlights the challenges of defending against and mitigating drone threats. The United States has experienced our own less nefarious drone incidents, including one that occurred in 2015 at the White House. Although it garnered less notoriety than the Maduro incident, a drone carrying de-activated grenades, and likely flown by an organized cartel, targeted a police chief in Baja Mexico in June of this year. These incidents bring to the forefront an issue that security professionals and governments have been struggling with since the introduction of inexpensive, and readily available, commercialized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drones” — how to identify, classify, and defend against one or many hostile drones?
Effective cybersecurity is becoming a tougher problem as organizations embrace more types of devices and hardware. Protecting organizations requires more than tools, which companies tend to learn the hard way. Granted, as the technology stack changes, new cybersecurity tools become necessary. However, the problem has become so complex that no organization can afford all the tools, all the people, and all of the other resources it would need to protect itself against everything.