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While consumers and businesses may hope the rise in data breaches in 2014 marked the high, hackers and identity thieves may be gearing up for even bigger attacks this year. Looking forward to cyberthreats likely to emerge in 2015, IT security professionals are cautious about the state of data security.

Here are three threats to watch out for in 2015.

1. Higher Risk of Payment Data Breaches

In 2014, millions of consumers were victims of data breaches that affected their personal and financial information. With corporate databases acting as treasure troves of information, cybercriminals will likely continue to go after systems that contain payment data. Malware designed to steal consumer debit and credit card information has become a frequent problem for IT security professionals in 2014, and teams will have to stay a step ahead to protect point-of-sale systems before they become infected and major data breaches occur.

2. Growing Attacks on Wearable Technology 

Some of the most exciting news to come out of the tech world last year revolved around wearable devices. While the buzz concerning wearable technology like smart watches and fitness trackers has grown louder, consumers may not realize they are putting their sensitive details at risk for cybertheft. Due to the rise of wearable technology that collects medical information like vital signs, the healthcare industry could be susceptible to major data breaches in 2015, according to the 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast report by Experian. As wearable technology could hold personal data, cybercriminals could attempt to attack health care companies and access this information to sell on black markets or commit identity theft.

3. Government-Sponsored Hackers Increasingly Target Sensitive Systems

After a high-profile attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, investigators suspected that a hacking group originating in North Korea was primarily responsible for the data breach that exposed employee and company information, IDT 911 reported. Although the North Korean hacking group hit corporate systems, it is a sign of things to come as nation state attacks become a bigger problem. Last year, hacking collectives backed by governments attacked businesses or federal agencies to either make political statements or cause disruptions in the economy. To combat these cyberattacks, the U.S. even recently issued sanctions against North Korea in response to the Sony Pictures data breach.

With these threats growing, consumers and businesses should continue to guard against malware and other risks that could compromise their information. You can monitor your credit to keep an eye out for signs of new-account fraud after a breach. You can check your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com and you can get your credit reports for free once a year.

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