Anyone working in the IT department of a financial institution will have their work cut out for them in the new year as far as data protection is concerned, according to a post by security professional Luge Pravda on American Banker. He said companies should expect more cybersquatting, digital piracy, phishing and perhaps some forms of cybercrime that haven't even been discovered yet.
"What specifically are these threats? Moving into 2013, there's a new level of attack emerging through the proliferation of cutting-edge methods of digital payment," he wrote on the website. "This involves more directed attacks that could culminate, effectively, in cyberterrorism, where an organized hacking group can cause mass chaos without necessarily stealing anything. "
Another worry for the new year is the proliferation of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which could bring down websites and restrict customers' data accessibility. Pravda wrote on American Banker that there have also been talks of a serious "Code Red" virus that may be lying in wait within the U.S. Department of Defense's computer systems and ready to take down many key agency infrastructures.
While it remains to be seen what, if anything, will come of the Code Red speculation, he said there is a need for all companies to prepare for the DDoS attacks and phishing attacks that have been hitting banks and other financial institutions hard. These may not be working on a large scale in most instances, but the small cases start to build up and can weigh down on companies.
"In the world of cybercrime, volume is what matters," Pravda wrote on American Banker. "We've begun to see exploits against the newest forms of security access, such as multifactor identification. Cybercriminals, like our digital devices, just keep getting smarter. Even though banks have their own networks, they already face and will continue to battle against a volume-related threat to their systems. Enough service requests can jam the system to the point of shutdown, as the rising tide of DDoS attacks has demonstrated."
New technology means new wave of cybercrime
With cutting edge tools comes new forms of malware and viruses that can take administrators by surprise while they're still learning on-the-job. ATM Marketplace said with mobile services and ATM kiosks expanding and integrating into other innovations, one report by ThreatMatrix shows that viruses and malware working against payment methods online will grow more dire in the new year.
A report from the company shows that threats that once affected only financial industry IT departments can now be executed on a smaller scale and try to effect digital payments. Hackers who create this malware are looking to take advantage of the lagging effort of security officials in protecting their networks or apps. It will go beyond data breaches of individuals as well, the company said, as larger-scale breaches are expected to see an increase with this increase in technology.
"This year, cybercriminals have become so advanced that security professionals are struggling to detect many of their attacks in a timely manner," said Andreas Baumhof, chief technology officer at ThreatMetrix, according to the ATM Marketplace. "As nearly every industry is increasingly targeted, businesses and consumers must make cybersecurity a top priority in 2013 to prevent fraud and malware attacks."
He added that while data protection, cybersecurity and other forms of fraud prevention are necessary for companies, there must be sound strategies in place by the IT department as well, as many of these attacks could go beyond the technology these businesses have in place if it is a zero-day attack.
Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro.