As 2011 draws to a close, it’s time to look towards what will come next in order to help users and enterprises prepare for the challenges of the upcoming year. Broadly speaking, our predictions can be split into four categories: enterprise IT trends, the mobile market, data breaches, and the ever-evolving cybercriminal industry.
Enterprise IT Trends Will Change The Security Landscape
Thanks to consumerization (BYOD), virtualization, and cloud computing, the enterprise IT landscape in 2012 will be a very different landscape from what it was just a few years ago. System administrators will have to contend not only with conventional security threats, but also with the increasing complexities of maintaining and securing systems and networks in these new platforms.
The Mobile Market Matures
As the number of users of smartphones and tablets continues to grow globally, cybercriminals will find it is now worth their time to actively target these users in record numbers. In particular, users of the Android platform will be at particular risk – its completely open app environment allows both malicious and Trojanized apps to easily reach user devices. We fully expect to see significant numbers of Android malware in the wild in 2012.
Data Losses Continue To Plague Enterprises
2011 could very well be described as the year of the data breach. Well-known names such as Sony and RSA, and (previously) low-profile companies such as Epsilon and HBGary all had confidential information leaked to the public. In 2012, not only will traditional profit-oriented cybercriminals continue their work, other groups with different motives will also be at play: these range from online activist groups like Anonymous and LulzSec, all the way to corporations and even governments.
Malware and Cybercrimes Grow More Sophisticated
On a more positive note, 2011 did see quite a few significant arrests and takedowns of cybercriminals and their networks. The security industry and law enforcement communities worked together to protect millions from threats such as the Esthost botnet which had been taken down by Operation Ghost Click.
In response to this, however, we will see cybercriminals respond by shifting to smaller, more manageable botnets. Thus, any particular action by law enforcement will hurt less, as fewer bots will be removed from the control of would-be herders.
In addition, cybercriminals will try to find new profit schemes and targets. In particular, Internet-connected equipment ranging from large-scale SCADA industrial systems to smaller, personal medical devices will be at risk of attack.
More of Our 12 Security Predictions for 2012
The rest of our security-related predictions for next year can be found in our 12 Security Predictions for 2012. You can also hear our CTO Raimund Genes talk about the security outlook for 2012 in the video below: