Every passing year the cyber security sector makes headlines in newspapers and media outlets. Almost all of them are bad, as the attacks on computer networks are becoming more sophisticated. In this article, we will show you the most vulnerable sectors in 2017.

Nowadays high profile social media accounts have become a juicy target for hackers.  In 2016, more people than ever have suffered the pain of getting their online credentials stolen, including actors, musicians, businessmen, and politicians.  Even the bitcoin space was shaken when hackers managed to siphon off millions of dollars from the popular exchange Bitfinex.

Malware infections are on the rise and they are being used to steal our passwords, credit card numbers, and even healthcare records. Here we present the top 4  industries most vulnerable to hackers in 2017.

The Gaming Industry

Since 2007, the gaming sector has grown so much that today the industry generates more revenue than the film industry. Year after year the subscription rates of both Sony and Microsoft console networks. Xbox Live and Playstation Plus are two of the main revenue streams for these companies. Subscribers can gain access to online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service.

This creates a perfect target for hackers because companies have centralized databases containing sensitive data (names, birth dates, emails, billing information, etc) of millions of subscribers. Furthermore, a study made by security company ESET revealed that 53% of gamers don’t use an antivirus solution, and 36% have one, but disabled it before playing. In 2015, the company Big Fish Games suffered a hack that compromised the billing information of hundreds of clients.

Healthcare Sector

According to consulting company Gartner, there will be 322 million smart devices next year, including smartwatches, glucose monitors, and other fitness-oriented gadgets–all of them connected to the Internet. Another ESET study concluded that 39% of companies in the healthcare sector aren’t prepared for a cyber attack.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything paradigms are causing enterprises and governments to rethink how they collect and process information.  Granted, the technology may offer benefits when paired with Big Data and Machine learning algorithms, but they pose a massive security risk; millions of small devices may end up forming the next big botnet (machines controlled by crackers and bad actors).

It is expected that in 2017 we will see another attack similar to the one the Internet suffered a couple of months ago in which hackers managed to secure control of millions of Internet-connected devices.  This involved IP cameras and routers, and launching denial of service attacks on critical infrastructures like DNS servers.

Public and Private Infrastructure

Cyber attacks launched against nuclear reactors, financial systems, and banks, aren’t something out of a movie’s plot.  They are real threats that have already occurred! Governments and enterprises have suffered the pain that ransomware can cause, but the next wave may not be mere attempts to get money from ransom but to do harm and cause destruction.

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Eduardo Gómez is a Computer Science Major from Venezuela, a country with a loyal Bitcoin user base. He discovered Bitcoin in 2012 and now he use it to escape the triple-digit inflation that Venezuela suffers, he is focusing on developing a writing career, and he tries to keep up with the news in FinTech and Blockchain Technologies.