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10 Biggest Things Businesses Don't Get About Cryptomining

Cryptomining activity has increased by 141 percent year-over-year thus far in 2018. Here's a look at ten of the biggest risks associated with cryptomining that companies are still failing to grasp.

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Crypto Craziness

Cryptocurrency mining is one of the fastest-growing threats, with detection increasing by 141 percent in 2018 over 2017, according to Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president, cloud research for Tokyo, Japan-based Trend Micro.

Cryptomining occurs when software programs or malware components take over a computer's resources and use them for cryptocurrency mining without a user's explicit permission. Cryptocurrency mining makes it possible for cyber criminals to harness the processing power of large numbers of computers, smartphones and other electronic devices to more easily generate revenue.

The shift toward cryptomining has come largely at the expense of ransomware, Nunnikhoven said, where there was only a 3 percent increase in activity in the first half of 2018 following double-digit gains in the second half of 2017. If current growth trends continue, cryptomining activity would be on the same level as ransomware within the next 12 to 18 months, according to Nunnikhoven.

Enterprise customers primarily see cryptomining as a nuisance and something they should attempt to monitor, control and stop, according to Bret Hartman, vice president and chief technology officer of San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco’s Security Business Group. But they're typically way more concerned about other types of security threats that could directly shut down their manufacturing, Hartman said.

Organizations often underestimate the danger of cryptomining and fail to see it as an imminent threat to their operations. As part of CRN's Cybersecurity Week 2018, here's a look at the ten biggest cryptomining-related risks, dangers and challenges that businesses are failing to grasp.

 
 
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