Top Cyber Threats for Companies in 2016

Hacker typing on a laptop

Each year, McAfee Labs produces a threat prediction report based on interviews with industry experts. These experts predict how threats will change, how attackers’ behaviors and targets will change, and how the industry will respond to these threats throughout the year. Many of the predictions for 2016 target companies and their data. These predictions include ransomware, employee systems, cloud servers, and warehouses of stolen data.


Ransomware allows attackers to hold your files hostage until you pay the ransom. Experts predict it will become easier for attackers to use ransomware and the number of attackers will grow this year.

Employee Systems

Attackers can use weaknesses in employee systems to steal personal information, such as payment information, social security numbers, addresses, and even fingerprints.

If attackers cannot access the company’s system, they will target an employee at home or on the road to gain access to the system. If the employee’s personal computer or mobile device does not have antivirus or anti-malware software or has the firewall disabled, the company’s system could be accessed by an attacker. Experts predict these types of attacks will increase.

Cloud Servers

Cloud servers are used by companies to store confidential data, such as business strategies, intellectual property, innovative products and services, financial data, and employee data. Cloud servers are a data-rich mine for attackers. Experts predict attackers will increasingly target cloud servers to steal valuable information.

Warehouses of Stolen Data

By stealing and using valid login credentials, attackers can avoid detection by security systems because they appear to be a valid user. Often, their behavior is the only thing that gives them away. Experts expect the security industry will continue to develop software that can identify these behaviors and detect these kind of attacks.

How to Minimize Your Exposure

To minimize your company’s vulnerability to the types of attacks mentioned above, you can:

  • Train employees on smart IT habits and awareness
  • Hire qualified personnel to maintain and manage your security systems
  • Evaluate and increase your security measures
  • Remove an employee’s access to any company systems once they leave the company
  • Expand your security measures to include your employee’s personal computers and/or mobile devices.

For more information on the top threats for 2016 and threats through 2020, view the complete McAfee Labs 2016 Threat Predictions Report.


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