According to a recent report by the Georgia Tech Information Security Center, Emerging Cyber Threats Report 2012, Cyber threats against personal information [data] continues to evolve. We will see advances in the sophistication and implementation of attacks in the near future.
As a professional who maintains personally identifiable information (PII) of your clients it is essential to be aware of these new and emerging threats, and take possible steps to safeguard your data.
Some of the areas cited in the report include:
- Mobile Phones / browsers.
There are currently four billion mobile phones in use around the world and mobile Internet is expected to outpace desktop Internet usage by 2014 (http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/2011-mobile-statistics-stats-facts-marketing-infographic/ ). Characteristics of mobile browsers create a new platform to introduce threats to data, as well as, potentially bypass existing firewalls and other security measures.
Botnets have been around for a long time but they continue to evolve. PII is big business and this means increasingly sophisticated processes to access information. Botnets have gone from targeting small pieces of data to creating complex demographic models that can potentially be sold into legitimate markets.
We live in the digital world and more business and personal interaction is transacted online than ever before. Marketers continue to expand the way our personal information is utilized to “control” our online experiences. In addition, attackers are now capitalizing on search engine optimization (SEO) to increase rankings and, therefore, credibility.
Advances in technology that enhance the way we conduct business also increase our potential exposure. Cloud computing creates new exposures that were previously addressed through physical servers. However, human error, education, and weak passwords continue to create the most vulnerability.
You can read the whole report here. It is not necessarily possible to understand all of the exposures created through enhancements in technology. However, broader education creates awareness to avoid potential disasters.
If you have not already, download NAPLIA’s recent White Paper on Information Security: Essential Steps to Protecting your Practice.