According to Central Intelligence Director John Brennan, the U.S. could now face an “unprecedented range of threats” in the digital domain.
Brennan outlined some of the threats during a recent talk at the Cyber Georgia Conference at Augusta University. Georgia is home to a key facility in the U.S. military’s cyber security efforts. In 2013, military officials announced that the U.S. Army Cyber Command Headquarters will be at Fort Gordon in Augusta. The Cyber Georgia Conference, which brings together government, academic and industry experts to exchange ideas, is in its third year at Augusta University.
Brennan explained that in fiscal year 2014, federal agencies were the target of more than 640,000 cyber-related incidents. Not only are attacks coming from everywhere, but attackers can also cover their tracks easily.
A look at the threats we can expect in 2017
Here are three potential threats we can expect to hear a lot about in 2017 and the coming years:
Smart Medical Devices and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
Health care is a hot topic right now as the healthcare industry is going through a major evolution as patient medical records go online and medical professionals realize the benefits of advancements in smart medical devices. However, as the healthcare industry adapts to its digital revolution, there are a number of concerns around privacy, safety and cyber security threats. As more devices are connected to hospital and clinic networks, patient data and information will be increasingly vulnerable. Even more concerning is the risk of remote compromise of a device directly connected to a patient, or smart devices. An attacker could theoretically increase or decrease dosages, send electrical signals to a patient, or disable vital sign monitoring.
Third Parties (Vendors, Contractors, Partners)
Third parties pose a huge risk to corporations, the majority of which have no secure system or dedicated team in place to manage these third-party employees. As cyber criminals become increasingly sophisticated and cyber security threats continue to rise, organizations are becoming more and more aware of the risk third parties pose. In 2015, Wendy’s fell victim to a data breach that affected at least 1,025 of the fast-food chain’s locations and was caused by a third-party vendor that had been hacked. Similarly, hackers stole the data of 110 million Target customers in 2013 by exposing a vulnerability in the retailers third-party refrigeration vendor.
Beyond hackers looking to make a profit through stealing individual and corporate data, entire nation states are now using their cyber skills to infiltrate other governments and perform attacks on critical infrastructure. Cyber crime today is a major threat not just for the private sector and for individuals but for the government and the nation as a whole. As such, President Obama’s 2017 fiscal year budget proposes a $19 billion allocation toward cyber security.
Each year, our nation and industry is faced with a new wave of cyber threats. Stay up-to-date on hot topics in the industry, new threats and the conversations you need to know in 2017 by attending Secure360 Twin Cities in May 2017. Register today!