by January 3, 2014 0 comments

The past year has been an interesting one in the world of cyber security. Mobile malware has become a large-scale threat, government surveillance has users asking “does privacy still exist?”, cybercrime continues to steal money from individuals and businesses, and new targets for hackers like AIS and SCADA have been identified. 2013 was many things, but boring was not one of them. So, what do we have to look forward to in 2014 and beyond?

“We expect mobile malware to not just keep growing, but to indirectly affect other platforms and devices as well. Consider how we’re using our smartphones not just for banking, but for authentication (using either apps or text messages). It’s a logical step forward that cybercriminals will systematically go after these as well. 2014 will be about mobile banking. Two-factor authentication is not a cure all – while it can improve IT security, it also introduces new attack vectors that have to be considered and make secure as well. Mobile was the “next big thing” a few years ago. What about today’s “next big thing”, the Internet of Everything? Attackers and cybercriminals always go where the money and the users are. In the absence of a “killer app” that will get most users to welcome it with open arms, the Internet of Everything is probably not going to see much in the way of threats – for now” commented Mr Dhanya Thakkar – Managing Director, Trend Micro for India & SAARC.

What is going to see threats are old systems – specifically those running Windows XP. By the time Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP next year, more than twelve and a half years will have passed since it was released. In the world of technology, that is an eternity. Unfortunately, however, many businesses are still using Windows XP. Once the patches stop being released, they will have no protection from Microsoft against zero-day exploits. We just saw a new zero-day target only Windows XP and Server 2003; there are certainly more that haven’t been used or discovered yet.

Trend Micro has put together a look at the threat landscape for 2014 and beyond, titled Blurring Boundaries. There are many interesting developments going on today; but these come with their own risks that we must all be aware of. Here, we are highlighting few upcoming threats to watch out for in 2014:

· Mobile banking will suffer from more MitM attacks; basic two-step verification will no longer be sufficient.

· Cybercriminals will increasingly use targeted-attack-type methodologies like open source research and highly customized spear phishing, along with multiple exploits.

· In the context of targeted attacks, we will see more clickjacking and watering hole attacks, new exploits of choice, and attacks via mobile devices.

· We will see one major data breach incident a month.

· Attacks leveraging vulnerabilities in widely used but unsupported software like Java 6 and Windows XP will intensify.

· The Deep Web will significantly challenge law enforcement, as the latter struggles to build capacity in order to address cybercrime on a large scale.

· Public distrust will ensue, especially after the exposure of state-sponsored monitoring activities, resulting in a period of disparate efforts to restore privacy.

· We will not yet see large-scale, widespread IoE threats. This requires a “killer app,” which may appear in the area of AR in the form of technology like heads-up displays.

Internet of Everything threats promises to be the proverbial game changer in personal technology in the years to come. With augmented reality delivered through wearable technology including watches and eyewear, the possibility of large-scale cybercrime from identity theft by 2020 is a very real possibility as the technology continues to proliferate from 2014 and beyond.

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