Targeted cyberattacks worry experts the most

Technology is a tricky thing. While it may feel like we're so advanced, so many holes remain in our digital security even today.

Cyber-security experts gathered at the Data Connectors Conference in Midtown Manhattan to discuss plugging those holes. We asked what they're most concerned about in 2018. Universally, the answer was targeted attacks.

"It's no longer trying to get your bank accounts, it's no longer a spam-type attack," Avanan founder Michael Landewe said. "Now it's very focused and usually state-sponsored, so it could be the Russians."

Or another country or a private group that runs a team whose goal is no longer to fool as many people as possible but just compromise one person in an entity of importance, such as the DNC, or a bank, or a utility company.

Romain Basset of VadeSecure works in email security, fighting against phishing scams that have gotten more advanced and try to fool an individual to click on a link.

"Because of those targeted attacks, you can have the most updated systems, the most trained users, all you need is one person to click on one link," he said. "That starts the chain of events that leads to election crisis, changing the results, or information leakage."

While the big change for 2018 is that the focus of hackers has clearly shifted to political goals, the heart of the motivation is still money. Those behind the hacking hope that influencing who is in power benefits them financially.

Patrick Slattery is a board member of New York InfraGard, a nonprofit group promoting cyber-security with the FBI and the private sector.

"Each of us, every single one of us has a responsibility to be better educated about what the potential attacks are," Slattery said. "To be more aware of what the risks are and how to handle those risks.

While the awareness in the public is growing, the precision of the phishing scams seems to be mutating even faster.