by December 24, 2012 0 comments

In 2013, managing the security of devices, small business systems, and large enterprise networks will be more complex than ever before. Users are breaking down the PC monoculture by embracing a wider variety of platforms, each with its own user interface, OS, and security model. Businesses, meanwhile, are grappling with protecting intellectual property and business information as they tackle consumerization, virtualization, and cloud platforms head-on.

This divergence in computing experience will further expand opportunities for cybercriminals and other threat actors to gain profit, steal information, and sabotage their targets’ operations.

The Trend report outlines the 10 top threats facing business and consumers next year. It is now available for download.

Among its findings:

  • The most serious threat during 2013 may be malicious and high-risk Android apps. Trend predicts they will reach 1 million in 2013, up from 350,000 at the end of 2012.

  • While traditional PC malware may recede a bit next year, threats to devices running the Android operating system will more than replace it.

  • The emergence of more digital lifestyle devices means that threats could appear in new and unexpected places, such as television sets and home appliances.

  • Africa appears on its way to becoming the next safe harbor for cybercriminals on the run.

With the different platforms, operating systems and security models making it difficult to protect ourselves than ever before; people are going to have a harder time managing the security of their devices in 2013,” Suchita Vishnoi, Head Corporate Communications, Trend Micro. “The time is perfect for security defenders to set new standards and deliver new solutions that will have a disturbing impact on the underground economy,” she adds.

Other predictions

  • Slow adoption of Windows 8 by business means consumers will be the leading beneficiaries from its security enhancements during the coming year.

  • Cybercriminals will target legitimate cloud services and data breaches will remain a serious threat in 2013, in part because existing security tools do not protect cloud data as well as traditional storage.

  • Consumers will increasingly use multiple computing platforms and devices, making securing them a difficult challenge.

  • Politically motivated attacks will become more destructive during 2013.

  • Conventional malware threats will evolve gradually, with few, if any, significant new attacks. Still, attacks that do occur will become more sophisticated and harder to detect.

  • Efforts to address global cybercrime are gaining traction, but will take two or three more years to reach full implementation.

There is, however, hope amid this gloomy forecast. The timing is perfect for security defenders to set new standards and deliver new solutions that will have a disturbing impact on the underground economy.

Trend Micro's 2013 forecasts

1. The volume of malicious and high-risk Android apps will hit 1 million in 2013.

2. Windows 8 offers improved security—but only to consumers.

3. Cybercriminals will heavily abuse legitimate cloud services.

4. As digital technology plays a larger role in our lives, security threats will appear in unexpected places.

5. Consumers will use multiple computing platforms and devices. Securing these will be complex and difficult.

6. Politically motivated electronic-based attacks will become more destructive.

7. Cloud storage or not, data breaches will remain a threat in 2013.

8. Efforts to address global cybercrime will take two or more years to reach full implementation.

9. Conventional malware threats will only gradually evolve, with few if any new threat. Attacks will become more sophisticated in terms of deployment.

10. Africa will become a new safe harbor for cybercriminals.

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