Top five things to worry about
- Nation states lock 'n load for cyber cold war: Global nations are ratcheting up cyber defense and attack capabilities, quietly launching espionage campaigns against one another, and even stealing industrial intellectual property. Expect to see more cyber espionage incidents next year and hear public perception swaying toward an already-occurring cyber cold war where nation states quietly "demonstrate" cyber capabilities.
- Malware jumps platforms from desktop to mobile devices - and bites hard: Malware that jumps from traditional operating systems to mobile platforms, or vice versa is a killer hacking combination, but until now, has not been particularly damaging. In 2015, attackers will find new ways to monetize mobile infections. Expect mobile malware to have more teeth, for example with customized ransomware designed to make your mobile unusable until you pay up.
- Encryption skyrockets - as do government attempts to break it: Encryption adoption is increasing as fast as governments are petitioning for ways to break encryption for "law enforcement use." Security pros must continue to leverage encryption whenever possible; fight for the right to retain private, unbreakable encryption; and build networks that support heavy use of encryption without slowing bandwidth and adversely affecting business.
- Business verticals become new battleground for targeted attacks: How does a cyber-criminal retain the benefits of a targeted attack while still pursuing big victim pools to make lots of money? By targeting business verticals rather than individual organizations. Modern cyber criminals will target businesses of every size as long as they are part of an interesting, profitable business vertical.
- Understanding hacker motives key to defending: Hackers have gone from mischievous kids exploring, to cyber activists pushing a message, to organized criminals stealing billions in digital assets, to nation states launching long-term espionage campaigns. Knowing the motives and tactics of various actors helps us understand which ones threaten our organization the most, and how they prefer to attack.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.