Blog article
See all stories »

What Security Challenges to Focus on in the New Year

In 2012, security challenges we faced were often the ribbon cuttings and business plans that startup criminal organizations launched. In 2013, those criminal enterprise business plans will come together—and we need to be ready.

Social media is high on criminal hackers radar. Criminals scan social media looking for people who they can scam. One such scam seeks out entire families and usually targets a grandparent. Criminals will pose as the grandchild and call granny asking for money to be wired. They are also looking at your page to crack password resets. Only friend those you know like and trust and lock down your privacy settings.

With Windows 8 out, criminals have set their sights on this new operating system and are seeking out its vulnerabilities. Old Win XP machines will be as vulnerable as ever. Macs are higher on hackers’ radars, too. Protecting your devices with essential security such as antivirus protection and keeping the OS updated are critical.

Mobile also is high on the hackers’ radar. McAfee predicts that as mobile malware grows, we can expect to see malicious apps that can buy additional apps from an app store without your permission. Buying apps developed by malware authors puts money into their pockets. We also expect to see attacks that can happen without you having to install an app, so no interaction on your part is needed to spread the malicious app.

Mobile ransomware quickly is moving from the PC to mobile devices. Criminals hijack your ability to access data on your phone or even use your phone, so you are faced with losing your contacts, calls, photos, etc. or paying a ransom—and even when you pay the ransom, you don’t always get your data back.

Protect yourself by refraining from clicking links in text messages, emails or unfamiliar web pages displayed on your phone’s browser. Set your mobile phone to lock automatically, and unlock it only when you enter a PIN. Consider investing a service that locates a lost phone, locks it and wipes the data if necessary, as well as restoring that data on a new phone. Keep your phone’s operating system updated with the latest patches, and invest in antivirus protection for your phone.




Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 04 February, 2013, 17:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

A sharp good reminder of how vulnerable people are, thank you.

On phone anti virus I was speaking to a security expert who was quite sceptical of what is out there? Certainly the mobile explosion we have seen and documented in our Mapa Research Insight series makes this the area where the next big security lapse will occur. What were your views?

Robert Siciliano
Robert Siciliano - - Boston 05 February, 2013, 01:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

There are millions and millions of viruses targeting PCs. Thousands targeting Macs, and 30+ thousand targeting Android. Androids today are where PCs were in the 90's. As Android proliferates, they will become a bigger target. Its hapening right now. 

Now hiring