Privacy and data theft will be the top security issues that organisations need to focus on in the new year,according to PandaLabs,the anti-malware laboratory of cloud security firm Panda Security.
Cyber-espionage and social networking attacks aimed at companies and government agencies will be the predominant threat to safeguard against in 2012,it said in a statement.
Cyber-espionage and social networking attacks will be the trends to watch,together with other,more traditional threats,” the company said.
According to PandaLabs Technical Director Luis Corrons,”We live in a world where all information is in digital form,so modern-day spies no longer need to infiltrate a building to steal information.”
“As long as they have the necessary computer skills,they can wreak havoc and access the best-kept secrets of organisations without ever leaving their living-rooms,” he added.
In the case of home users,cyber-criminals would continue to target social media sites to steal personal data. Social engineering techniques exploiting users’ weaknesses have become the leading attack method for hackers,it said.
“Social networking sites provide a space where users feel safe as they interact with friends and family. The problem is that attackers are creating worms that take advantage of that false sense of security to spread their creations and it is really easy for them to trick users with generic messages like “Look,you’re on this video” for example,” Corrons said.
“Sometimes,curiosity can be our own worst enemy,” he explained.
According to PandaLabs,there will be new attacks on Android operating system-based devices in 2012,but it will not be on a massive scale.
It added that the fact tablets share the same operating system as smartphones means they will be soon targeted by the same malware as those platforms.
In addition,tablets might draw a special interest from cyber-crooks,as people are using them for an increasing number of activities and they are more likely to store sensitive data than on a smartphone.
The number of malware specimens for Macs would continue to grow in 2012,though much less than in the case of PCs.
In the past few years,the number of malware threats has grown exponentially and everything seems to indicate the trend will continue in 2012.
Trojans are cyber-crooks’ weapon of choice for their attacks,as shown by the fact that three out of every four new malware strains created in 2011 were trojans,designed to sit silently on users’ computers and steal their information,it said.
It added,”Windows 8 will allow users to develop applications for virtually any device (PCs,tablets and smartphones) running Windows 8,so it will be possible to develop malicious applications like those for Android. This,in any event,will probably not take place until 2013.”
“The overall picture is not improving. As new technologies advance,cyber-crooks develop new modes of attack,sometimes by simply adapting old techniques to the new platforms. In the end,users’ false sense of security is cyber-crooks’ best friend,” it was stated.