Menu
The top 5 security threats to watch for in 2014

The top 5 security threats to watch for in 2014

We're already knee-deep in data breaches, and this year also brings the imminent demise of Windows XP support

The year's barely started, and we've already had enough data breaches at major retailers to make a barter economy seem like a good idea. Unfortunately there are yet more security threats to look forward to in 2014. Here are the biggest ones we anticipate.

Mobile malware: The absence of any notoriously successful mobile exploit has lulled users into a false sense of confidence about the level of danger they face. Meanwhile, attackers have had a few years to test the best ways to spread mobile malware.

James Lyne, global head of security research for Sophos, notes that mobile malware is adapting and evolving faster than security tools can learn to detect and evade the threats. Variants are adopting tactics from PC malware--employing encrypted command and control servers, and polymorphism, among other techniques. The perfect storm is on its way.

The Internet of things: Connected devices can make life more convenient, but they also create additional opportunities for the bad guys. If you can access your home security system or baby monitor camera from your smartphone, an attacker may be able to do so as well. Think about that before you rush to connect your car, refrigerator, watch, camera, alarm system, and whatever else.

Virtual currencies under siege: Though they remain a fringe phenomenon, virtual currencies like Bitcoin have achieved a level of success and growth that can't be ignored. Cybercriminals are eager to go after such holdings, so if you own any virtual currency you had better take every possible precaution to keep it safe.

Because virtual currencies are unregulated and anonymous, they enable cybercriminals to collect payments for ransomware threats such as CryptoLocker with less fear of being traced. McAfee Labs predicts that cybercriminals will continue to embrace virtual currencies in the future.

Windows XP: The ancient operating system retains significant market share in the desktop OS category, and it powers a wide spectrum of kiosks and embedded devices. As of April, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, which means no more patches and no more security updates. (Microsoft will support Microsoft Security Essentials antimalware protection on Windows XP through July 14, 2015.)

Some security experts believe that attackers are hoarding Windows XP exploits and biding their time until April. Then the gloves will come off, and it will be open season on Windows XP systems. Many software developers will stop updating their Windows XP applications, too, which will provide more opportunities for attackers, and the security software for Windows XP will become a prime target for exploits as well.

More data breaches: The data breaches keep coming, and there's no reason to believe they will subside anytime soon. The Target debacle that closed out 2013 continues to grow in scope as the investigation continues. The original estimate of 40 million has been revised to 110 million, and now additional retailers such as Neiman Marcus are discovering that their customer data storage systems have been breached.

In some areas, such as connected devices and virtual currencies, you may not be able to do much beyond staying vigilant.

As always, you should be cautious about opening file attachments or clicking suspicious links or links from unknown sources. Protect your mobile devices against malware and exploits by using security software. Finally, use two-factor authentication wherever possible, and be sure to set up strong, unique passwords for the various sites and services you visit and rely on, so that a data breach at one site doesn't compromise your entire online identity.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sophossecurityphishingmalwareantivirus

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments