As always, a new year brings a range of new cybersecurity threats. Here are the top trends you need to know about in 2019.

1. Government sponsored cyberattacks will escalate

Internet-connected systems are now vital to most national economies, making them an obvious target during conflict. Events in Ukraine have seen an escalation in cyberattacks mounted by both parties for instance. We fully expect to see more of these events over the next 12 months.

2. Multi Factor Authentication will gain wider adoption

Also known as Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) and Two Factor Authentication (2FA), this security technique strengthens account security. As well as the usual user name and password, you will need to enter another form of identification, such as your fingerprint or a unique code sent to your mobile phone in order to log on to websites and other services.

3. Malware will become increasingly sophisticated

Hackers are constantly refining malware tools to make them more efficient and effective. The use of advanced persistent threats (APTs) will also increase as criminals invest significant time and effort into carrying out major thefts.

4. Cyberattacks will target people, not networks

Humans remain the weak link in every security system, so as antimalware effectiveness increases, hackers will shift their focus to “attacking” people. Expect to see many more phishing emails and fake websites designed to trick you into sharing sensitive data like passwords and credit card numbers.

5. Smart devices will be used in more attacks

Internet-connected devices like smart speakers and WiFi-enabled smart home devices offer new ways for hackers to break into your home network. Cybercriminals will begin targeting these devices as well as your computer in order to steal personal data.

6. DDoS attacks will continue

Distributed Denial of Service attacks are not particularly clever – but they are still relatively successful. Overloading an unprotected website with excess traffic will cause it to fail, so hackers will continue to use this technique, building botnets from computers like yours to attack.

7. Hackers will steal your computer resources for crypto-mining

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin continue to gain attention, particularly as anyone can “make” new money themselves. With the right malware, hackers can take over your computer and use it to “mine” currency – and prevent you from using it to its full potential. Because there is potentially a lot of money to be made, these attacks will become more common.

8. Malware will become more sneaky

Because hackers can use compromised computers for a range of activities (mining cryptocurrency, DDoS botnet, information theft etc) they will often access machines several times. To remain undetected, malware will have to become better at hiding itself. During 2019 we will see new malware variants that are even harder to detect – and which could cause significant damage over a very long period of time.

9. Machine Learning will be vital for blocking new threats

New malware threats are being developed at a phenomenal rate, often too fast for traditional security researchers to keep up. Machine Learning, like that used by the Panda Dome security suite, monitors computer activity to automatically detect and lock suspicious processes – even before a virus has been officially identified. This proactive protection will be vital to beating cybercriminals – especially those using malware that disguises itself.

10. Old Windows computers will become even more dangerous

Official support for Microsoft Windows XP and Vista ended several years ago – but plenty of people are still using them. Microsoft no longer release updates or security patches for either system – so any PC running them is at increased risk of falling victim to hackers. Because the worldwide user base is still significantly large, hackers will continue to target them.

Protect yourself now

Although concerning, the good news is that most of these threats can be prevented by installing a robust, proactive antimalware product on your home computers and mobile devices. Start your new year the safe way by downloading a free Panda Dome trial now.

Happy new year!