Beating the Security Threats of the New Year and Staying Digitally Healthy in 2014
Now that the New Year is upon us we will discuss some of the security threats that might impact our lives. The security threats that will affect us might come from channels that we use the most. Now the question is what are the channels that we use the most? Mobile devices, cloud applications, online currency and transactions and social media are just a few things that can be mentioned. The more a device, application or software is used the more it will be subject to risks. The list below discusses some of the threats that might be encountered in 2014:
As hand held devices become more ubiquitous and our dependence on them increases security challenges with these devices will also increase. New mobile malware will make its way into Android phones and target confidential corporate data. BYOD was already discussed in an earlier post and this along with viruses and malware will make mobile security a weak link in an organization’s security perimeter.
Bitcoin – the new virtual currency:
Will BITCOIN be the new virtual currency of the future? Only time will tell… for now, ‘Bitcoin’ is set to shake up the online currency world. Here is a brief description of what a ‘Bitcoin’ is and how it works:
- A Bitcoin can be used to make peer to peer transactions through the Internet without going through a bank
- Since we don’t need to go to a bank the fees are much lower
- Bitcoins can be used in many countries
- They are generated on the Internet by using a ‘Bitcoin miner’ and they are stored in digital wallet
- Bitcoins are used to buy video games, books and gifts (Bitcoin)
In spite of the fact that the concept of digital currency is new and exciting, McAfee states that digital currency “… has also provided cybercriminals with the perfect unregulated and anonymous payment infrastructure they need to collect money from their victims.” (McAfee Labs 2014 Threat Predictions)The use of Bitcoins will generate security challenges in 2014 as we understand more of this new concept.
As more organizations move their applications onto the cloud computing for easier maintainability, accessibility and storage, privacy risks rise. Since most of the critical employee data is stored in a remote location, data can easily be viewed by external agents and privacy of data is lost. New types of attacks can also be unleashed on the cloud and this might be trend for 2014.
Big data and security concerns:
Digitally Healthy New Year!
Having discussed some of the cybersecurity challenges of 2014, we move onto to the concept of staying digitally healthy in the New Year. What do I mean by ‘Digitally Healthy’? Digitally healthy means not always plugged into various devices and platforms. According to Mark Ostach, founder of DigitalDietGuy.com, “….many of us feel the need to constantly be plugged into to our smart phones, social media accounts and other devices that keep us “turned on”. I feel like we are on the verge of becoming digitally obese” (Digital Diet Challenge )
For this New Year, from Information Security front here are a few resolutions to keep up with a healthy life:
- Cut digital calories by spending less time online
- Text less, chat less, spend less time online
- Talk less on the phone and more face to face
Starting on the digital detox diet will also reduce security threats and challenges which in turn will make our online world safer. Considering that we are living in a 24x7 environment, many of things mentioned might be difficult to achieve but every small step will be giant leap for a digitally correct life!
- Bitcoin. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan 2, 2014, from Bitcoin: http://bitcoin.org/en/
- Digital Diet Challenge . (n.d.). Retrieved from Digital Diet Guy: http://digitaldietguy.com/digital-diet-challenge/
- McAfee Labs 2014 Threat Predictions. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan 2, 2014, from McAfee: http://mcaf.ee/utjz4
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