2014 Cybersecurity Threats

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2014 Cybersecurity Threats

July 24th, 2014

According to a new report from IHS Technology, “the global market for connected devices that allow users to access the Internet is set to surpass 6 billion units this year, as new products including cell phones, tablets and computers enter the electronics ecosystem.” And unfortunately, even as many organizations employ newer cybersecurity protocols to protect these devices, cybercriminals continue to refine their techniques to launch ever more sophisticated attacks. Below are the top cybersecurity threats we’ve seen and will continue to see in 2014.

  1. BYOD: We all know about benefits of BYOD – it’s cheaper for the company, and employees tend to take better care of their own phones and tablets than company-provided equipment. But this comes at a cost to security, especially without a comprehensive, and enforced BYOD, policy. Employees may forward their corporate email to their personal email accounts on their phones, install and/or utilize unsecure third-party apps, or neglect to keep their security software up to date. Additionally, though a determined employee could steal company data, BYOD or no BYOD, it is easier when they’re using their own device.

  2. Internet of Things: The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the interconnection of individual devices to the existing Internet infrastructure – devices such as heart monitor implants, baby monitors and smart thermostats. These devices can make life more convenient, but they also become additional targets. Anything that you can access via the Internet, and any programmable options, could potentially be accessed by an outsider as well. These devices often have less stringent security measures and software than say your cellphone or laptop.

  3. Botnets: Another threat is Botnets (also known as zombie armies). According to Norton, a “‘bot’ is a type of malware that allows an attacker to take control over an affected computer. Also known as “Web robots”, bots are usually part of a network of infected machines, known as a “botnet”, which is typically made up of victim machines that stretch across the globe.” Cybercriminals, or botmasters, use the botnets to send out spam email messages, spread viruses, attack computers and servers, steal personal information, and launch denial of service (DoS) attacks against website owners. Most computer owners with an infected system don’t even realize this is happening.

  4. Data Privacy in the Cloud: More and more businesses are turning to the cloud to affordably increase or decrease data storage capacity as needed. Unfortunately, business data stored in the cloud is often protected only by the security protocols provided by the cloud storage firm, and without being subject to the organization’s own internal security measures. Businesses must find ways to assure security and compliance for most sensitive data, while maintaining the cloud’s functionality and efficiency. “Searchable encryption”, a technology that allows encrypted data to be searched as is, can help overcome this threat.

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