2016 was a rough year. We saw the record for the largest and most powerful DDoS attack shattered not once, but twice. Data breaches hit record highs, increasing more than 40% vs 2015. And, Carrie Fisher died. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that it can’t possibly be worse, but it can. And when it comes to server security it likely will be worse.

DDoS Will Become More Common, and Frighteningly More Powerful

Headlines were made in 2016 when the Mirai malware infected more than 150,000 IoT devices. Primarily, and ironically, the majority of which were security cameras. And then used that botnet to execute several record-breaking and high profile DDoS attacks. One of the attacks hit Dyn with a whopping 1.2 Terabits per second. The attack was able to cause connectivity issues with many high profile sites such as Netflix, Reddit, Amazon and more.

After the malware and it’s exploitation of IoT devices was made widely known, several device makers stepped up their security measures. Preventing the Mirai malware from executing such a devastating attack, but here’s where the scary part comes in. The original creator of the malware released it’s source code to the public at the end of 2016 after he was no longer able to perform the record-breaking DDoS attacks he used to.

When he released the source code, the malware was still capable of delivering 80Gbps attacks. This means that several individuals now have access to a source code with the potential to deliver 80x the power of the average attack in 2016. (which is estimated to be 1.15 Gbps) It’s important to note that most web hosting setups can be taken down with just a 1 Gbps attack.

This means that the average DDoS attack in 2017 will be strong enough to take the majority of web servers. It’s also important to note that last year’s top attacks increased in power by more than 100% vs 2015. With the increasing number of connected devices, it’s a very real possibility that we could see a similar increase in power by the end of this year.

Data Breaches Show No Signs of Slowing Down

Data Breaches continued to grow more common in 2016, with a 40% increase in frequency over 2015. That trend will likely continue into 2017 as phishing scams and other methods of accessing data become increasingly convincing and common.

A great example of the way these breaches are becoming more often is the phishing setup that involves hosting a fake Google login page on Google Drive. This means that the URL will check out and even have a secured connection and be verified by Google.

Expect more common and more cunning schemes in 2017.

How Can You Prepare?

The two biggest threats facing you in 2017 are DDoS attacks and data security. About 60% of data breaches occur due to phishing scams so it’s important to brush up on and teach your employees about data privacy and security. Be sure to send any suspicious emails to your tech guy whether it’s an employee in the IT department or a friend you can rely on to tell you if it’s real or not.

As for DDoS attacks, there’s no way to ensure you won’t be taken offline by an attack, however, you can take steps to prevent smaller attacks. Read up on our guide to preparing for and preventing DDoS attacks to learn how to best protect yourself.

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Anthony is a tech fiend. As a child, he dreamed of seamless integrations between hard drives and brains as a method of enhancing the human brain. As an adult, he enjoys more rational ventures into tech such as experimenting with and writing about the latest technologies and softwares.

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