It doesn’t take much research to know that 2016 was a bad year on the security front: A cursory review of the headlines tells the story. The year brought a new level of creativity and brazenness among cyber-criminals, who took things to a new level with expanded ransomware techniques, multi-million-dollar virtual bank heists, and even attempts to disrupt the U.S. presidential election. But a thoroughly detailed report can put things in a starker perspective, and Symantec’s “2017 Internet Security Threat Report” makes it clear that the fast-changing threat landscape will challenge even the most diligent security teams well into 2017 and beyond. “New sophistication and innovation are the nature of the threat landscape, but this year, Symantec has identified seismic shifts in motivation and focus,” said Kevin Haley, director of Symantec’s Security Response unit. “Meanwhile, cyber-criminals caused unprecedented levels of disruption by focusing their exploits on relatively simple IT tools and cloud services.” Email continued to be a favored platform, with Symantec finding that more than 400 companies are targeted by so-called business email compromise scams every day—a practice the FBI estimates has led to a loss of more than $3 billion over the past three years.
Tony has been writing about the intersection of technology and business for more than 20 years and currently freelances from the Grass Valley, Calif., home where he and his wife are raising their two boys. A 1988 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and regular contributor to Baseline since 2007, Tony’s somewhat infrequent Twitter posts can be found at http://twitter.com/tkontzer.