Things are moving real fast in the cyber world, especially in/around India and SAARC: emergence of new disruptive technology, path breaking and life altering IT experience for consumers, increased reliance on smartphones, and shift to the cloud managed services and increased participation on social networks. But if the industry experts in cyber security are to be believed, this development is not all so fluffy and nice. Symantec has revealed in a recent set of reports and blogs that there is increased risk to mobiles and cloud platforms, in the coming year, to be subjected to malicious and dangerous cyber attacks.
We have witnessed an exponential explosion in the use of smartphone, with corporate companies shifting to cloud based services and private networks to share info between the employees and aid faster , efficient, smoother running of their operations. Similarly has much of the youth in India and its neighboring countries, opted to choose/use Android and feature rich phones – over normal budget phones. There has been marked improvement in traffic from mobile browsers. Almost every major brand wants to launch a customized app for its consumers to interact with it via mobiles. People have opened up to e-commerce and are ordering more and more stuff online, paying their bills mostly by debit/credit cards.
In the light of all these developments, Symantec predicts that in the coming year, more and more cyber attacks are likely. Not just that, it opines that these attacks can be very formidable and perpetrators are becoming increasing skilled in their crimes. It lists a top 5 security prediction on its website, which clearly pan out mobile and cloud platforms as being the next avenues for cyber criminals.
Some of the potential risks:
Ransomware – a malware that infects the user’s device; locks it down and demands a ransom to render it usable/operational again.
Social network monetization – using social network to poison the feeds of users with marketing drives, baiting them into malicious/pretentious offers hosted on seemingly new e-commerce websites, and thereby extracting financial and private information from the unsuspecting users.
Madwares – Mobile Ad wares (Mobile + Ad ware), which interject user experience on mobile web, with ads and potentially dangerous popup(s) – thereby extracting information from the users’ phones. Such attacks have become rather common on Android nowadays.
Unmanaged Cloud Hosting – small to medium sized IT firms/business, which have their technologies or work stations hosted on the cloud have been also reported to be potentially at risk. Even major firms and their clouds can be hit, if they have loose firewalls.
Among other risks, the cyber security firm has also listed government sponsored cyber spying initiatives (akin to Flame) and other such international cyber warfare as being major players in cyber crimes in th e coming year. We have recently seen the group Anonymous making a statement of theirs online, when the Government raised its voice, intent on censoring internet.
Image Courtesy | cxotoday