Through the Cybersecurity Crystal Ball: The Biggest Threats to Come in 2015

Through the Cybersecurity Crystal Ball: The Biggest Threats to Come in 2015
While consumers and businesses believe the rise in data breaches in 2014 means the worst is over, hackers and identity thieves may be gearing up for even bigger attacks this year. Looking forward to cyberthreats likely to emerge in 2015, IT security professionals are cautious about the state of data security due to key cyber-related risks. 

Here are three threats to watch out for in 2015:

1. Higher Risk of Payment Data Breaches
In 2014, millions of consumers were victims of data breaches that affected their personal and financial information. With corporate databases acting as treasure troves of information, cybercriminals will likely continue to go after systems that contain payment data, CNBC reported. Malware designed to steal consumer debit and credit card information has become a frequent problem for IT security professionals in 2014 and teams will have to stay one step ahead to protect point-of-sale systems before they become infected and major data breaches occur. 

2. Growing Attacks on Wearable Technology
Some of the most exciting news to come out of the tech world last year revolved around wearable devices. While the buzz concerning wearable technology like smart watches and fitness trackers has grown louder, consumers may not realize they are putting their sensitive details at risk for cybertheft. Due to the rise of wearable technology that collects medical information like vitals, the health care industry could be susceptible to major data breaches in 2015, according to the 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast report by Experian. As wearable technology could hold personal data, cybercriminals could attempt to attack health care companies and access this information to sell on black markets or commit identity theft.

3. Government-Sponsored Hackers Increasingly Target Sensitive Systems
After a high-profile attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, investigators suspected that a hacking group originating in North Korea was primarily responsible for the data breach that exposed employee and company information, CyberScout reported on Dec.17. Although the North Korean hacking group hit corporate systems, it is a sign of things to come as nation state attacks become a bigger problem, according to Wired magazine. Last year, hacking collectives backed by governments attacked businesses or federal agencies to either make political statements or cause disruptions in the economy. To combat these cyberattacks, the U.S. even recently issued sanctions against North Korea in response to the Sony Pictures data breach, The New York Times reported.

With these threats growing, consumers and businesses should continue to guard against malware and other risks that could compromise their information.