Forward Thinking: Network Security Predictions for 2012

Posted: January 3, 2012 in Industry Commentary
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Slimmer bodies, faster Internet connections, and better network coverage makes use of the latest smartphones and mobile devices all the more appealing to the public—and to hackers.

In 2011, smartphone users were introduced to mind-blowing features like Siri. However, they were also introduced to the major headache of mobile malware; and according to the following security experts, it will definitely continue to be a cause for concern in 2012.

In the past, malware developers have concentrated on over 1 billion PCs in the world. However, as the number of mobile users has skyrocketed, smartphones have become an attractive target for malware producers. There are three motivations for malicious activity—fame, fortune and politics. We will see maturation in all areas, but we expect fortune-seekers to really come into their own in 2012.”Kevin Mahaffey, Lookout Mobile Security’s chief technology officer.

I know it’s a tad early for New Year predictions, but I’m going to beat the rush and make mine now: 2012 will be the year of mobile malware. That’s an easy prediction to make, because if you look at the numbers, 2011 was really the year of mobile malware, but only a handful of people have been paying close attention. Next year, you won’t be able to avoid hearing about it, and if you carry anything remotely ‘smart’ in your pocket—and you don’t carry adequate ‘protection’, as we used to say in high school—you may become a victim of it.” – Dan Tynan, writer at ITWorld.

The mobile device, now the dominant technological tool in American enterprise, will become more dominant in 2012 and beyond. But it is not very secure, which puts users and the enterprises that employ them at greater risk. The combination of relative defenselessness and ubiquity means mobile devices will be an increasingly tempting target for attacks ranging from spyware to rogue applications. IBM’s IT security research team, X-Force, predicts 33 software exploits targeting mobile devices in 2012. That may sound small, but it is double the number released in the previous 12 months.” Taylor Armerding, writer at PC World.

What do you think? Will mobile malware be one of the biggest security threats next year?

About the author: Sylvia Rosen writes on a variety of telecom topics, including how to keep your unified communications, such as VoIP phone systems, secure in 2012.

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