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DomainTools’ Security Pros Weigh In on Top Cybersecurity Trends for 2017

SEATTLE—January 10, 2017 – DomainTools, the leader in domain name and DNS-based cyber threat intelligence, unveiled three key trends for the cybersecurity industry to anticipate in 2017. Headed into the New Year, the DomainTools team predicts that ransomware, already a threat to businesses, will finally appear on consumers’ radars through connected cars. Meanwhile, 2017 marks the year where organizations of all sizes take cyberliability insurance seriously, as the high cost of a breach will threaten their very existence. Finally, websites that took a stand at individuality with one of the newer top level domains (TLDs) will revert back to .com and .net, as consumers become wary of malicious and unfamiliar links.

“Over the past few years, we have seen an exponential rise in attacks and breaches aimed at businesses of all sizes and in all industries, from ransomware to phishing scams targeted at specific executives within organizations – at great financial risk. As adversaries and threats become even more sophisticated in 2017, the infosecurity team will play a significant role in protecting the organization’s bottom line,” said Tim Chen, CEO of DomainTools. “As we head into the New Year, certain to be fraught with new cyber risks and challenges, the DomainTools team couldn’t be more eager to help new and existing customers detect and investigate network threats and help their organizations achieve security excellence in the new year.”

DomainTools predicts the following three cybersecurity trends in 2017:

Ransomware reaches consumers via IoT

Ransomware, a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid, is expected to cost businesses $1 billion this year. This year, we’ll see more and more consumers at risk of ransomware from an unassuming source: the internet of things. The growing fleet of connected devices, including the connected car, is turning into the Wild West of the internet where security is lax or nonexistent. This year, we expect hapless car owners who simply wanted a way to listen to music and talk hands free will be a prime target. They will discover that they are connected to more than just Spotify when their cars won’t start and the infotainment screen announces that the car has been crypto-locked and is completely disabled until the ransom is paid.

Cyberinsurance booms as corporations and consumers hedge against cyber risk

Cybercrime is expensive and poses a great risk to companies. According to the Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study 2016, the average data breach costs organizations about $4 million, or about $158 per lost or stolen record. Although a strong cybersecurity framework is the best defense against attacks, it is becoming increasingly obvious that your network will be breached at some point. For hundreds of years, risks that cannot be eliminated nor predicted, such as car accidents, certain health risks, fire, and physical theft have been hedged with insurance. While not a new concept, cyberinsurance will rise out of infancy in 2017, as corporations and individuals reading daily about growing threats will more readily accept the need to address their own cyber liability.

There goes the (DNS) neighborhood

Since the expansion of more than 600 new top level domains (TLDs) extensions in 2014, companies and individuals have quickly adopted TLDs such as .xyz or .technology or .donuts to differentiate or protect their brand. However, that differentiation will come at a price and TLDs without mechanisms to prevent abuse will become the cesspools of the internet. As consumers become more aware of the dangers of a bad link, they will altogether avoid new TLDs that they do not trust. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the private sector, non-profit corporation responsible for the maintenance of IP addresses, and will spearhead an effort to mitigate abuse, but not before consumers turn their backs on unfamiliar domains.

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About DomainTools
DomainTools helps security analysts turn threat data into threat intelligence. We take indicators from your network, including domains and IPs, and connect them with nearly every active domain on the Internet. Those connections inform risk assessments, help profile attackers, guide online fraud investigations, and map cyber activity to attacker infrastructure. Fortune 1000 companies, global government agencies, and leading security solution vendors use the DomainTools platform as a critical ingredient in their threat investigation and mitigation work. Learn more about how to connect the dots on malicious activity at or follow us on Twitter: @domaintools