Cyber Security Trends-Q3 2019

InfoSec led Twitter mentions in Q3 2019.

Verdict lists the top five tweeted terms in cyber security in Q3 2019, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. InfoSec – 5,990 mentions

Information security threats and their impact on businesses and individuals was one of the most tweeted topics during the quarter. A video released by Object Technology Solutions Inc. (OTSi), an information technology company, details seven alarming facts about cyber security. The annual cost of cyber security related crimes is expected to reach $5 trillion by 2020, it says. Further, cybersecurity related expenditures are expected to reach $1 trillion by 2024, according to OTSi.

Another topicduring the quarter was the implementation of 11 new privacy and security laws by the states of Maine and California to address privacy, data security, and cyber security issues. The World Economic Forum has also highlighted the need for effective cyber security measures. It has released a new report named “Incentivizing responsible and secure innovation: Principles and guidance for investors” that serves as a guide to investors to ensure businesses actively invest in improving cyber security.

2. Hackers – 2,840 mentions

The vulnerabilities in various apps and the attacks made by hackers were among the discussion that made Hackers a popular term during the quarter. One hacker hijacked app accounts of 900 7-Eleven Japan customers and made illegal charges amounting to $510,000. Another hacker stole usernames, passwords and email addresses of 562,000 members of the popular webcomic forum, XKCD.

A report published by a security publisher revealed the security issues with the video conferencing software of Zoom Video Communications. One of the issues with the technology was that it enabled websites to turn on the webcam on Mac computers without users’ consent or knowledge. Hackers also breached Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency and leaked data of five million people.

3. Ransomware – 1,793 mentions

Ransomware attacks across the US were among the most discussed topics during the quarter. Georgia’s court system had to be taken offline due to a ransomware attack. In another attack, 20 municipalities of Texas were affected in a co-ordinated ransomware attack, while Lake City’s online systems were attacked by hackers, who demanded $460k as ransom.

The ransomware crisis is predicted to get worse in the future and become the biggest cyber security threat. Paying the ransom to cybercriminals only encourages them to invest more time and effort into planning future attacks, states Graham Cluley, an independent blogger and co-host of the Smashing Security podcast. Instead of paying the attackers implementing measures such as maintaining internet security hygiene, keeping systems up to date, and providing training to employees will be more helpful, according to Bob Maley, CSO at NormShield and former CISO for the state of Pennsylvania.

4. Malware – 1,765 mentions

Chinese border authorities breaching the security of tourists visiting the Xinjiang region of China was a top topic. An investigation conducted by Guardian, Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and the New York Times, revealed that an app was installed on the tourist’s phones to access emails, texts, and contacts.

Another malware attack originating from an Alibaba-owned store affected the 25 million android phones transforming apps such as WhatsApp to serve ads. Twitter was also slammed for advertising a malware that let men spy on their girlfriends, although it was later removed.

5. Data Breach – 1,292 mentions

The data breach at Capital One Bank was discussed widely across Twitter during the quarter. A hacker gained access to 100 million credit card applications as well as thousands of Social Security and bank account numbers. The data breach is expected to other companies as well, according to security researchers.

Another data breach was reported at American Medical Collection Agency, which comprised the accounts of 2.2 million patients. European Central Bank also reported data breach, in which hackers accessed information from newsletter subscribers through malware. The failure of companies to admit data breaches was also discussed widely. StockX, an online sneaker-trading platform, was exposed to a data breach, but instead of admitting the breach, it asked users to update their passwords as part of a system upgrade.