Making cybersecurity predictions about the year ahead is generally an exercise in pessimism. Intrusions will continue, yes. Hacks ain’t going anywhere, for sure. More secrets will leak, no doubt.
Just ask the Democratic National Committee, the National Security Agency, Yahoo (YHOO), or any of the other unnamed organizations that quietly handled their own security “incidents” this year without tipping off the press. Breaches are innumerable.
Still, it’s worth lending an ear to experts fighting the ground war. They’ve got the intel that can help people get ahead of inbound problems.
In that spirit, Fortune invited Patrick Morley, CEO of Carbon Black, a cybersecurity firm said to be IPO-bound, to the office to share his thoughts about the coming threat landscape. His predictions for 2017 are not entirely surprising coming from a company tasked with selling defensive software, but there are nuggets of wisdom within.
In a segment on Fortune Live, Morley warns viewers to expect more attacks. Specifically, expect more attacks on endpoints, or connected devices. (Yes, the kind of devices his company protects.)
Morley continues: Expect more ransomware attacks, or attacks that hold computer files for ransom. In a recent report, Carbon Black found among its more than 1,000 customers a 50% rise in ransomware instances this year over last year, making ransomware the fastest-growing malware category recorded by the security firm.
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Finally, Morley adds, expect more attacks that do not use malicious software to crack targets. Hackers are increasingly relying on other means, like Microsoft (MSFT) PowerShell, a Windows program that lets people with admin-level privileges run code, to achieve there ends.
From the aforementioned report: “Such attacks spiked by more than 90 percent in the second quarter of this year (+93.2%) and have stayed at escalated levels since.”
Stay vigilant, readers.