2014 Predictions from Symantec: An Analysis

 

The “Internet of Things” has now become the “Internet of Vulnerabilities”, announced Symantec, the popular computer security and backup solution provider.

With cyber crimes growing in impact and frequency, this statement is just an interpretation of the facts. According to a report, the average cost per cyber crime victim in India grew to $207 in 2013 from last year’s $192. The global stats for the same witnessed a 50-percent increase to reach $298.

Seeing the latest trends in cyber crime, Symantec has come up with four predictions for 2014 pertaining to information security and users’ reaction and response to cyber crime and hacking attacks.

Users will begin taking necessary measures to secure their personal information

As evident from most of the information security breaches, users’ ignorance and unsafe practices in terms of choosing weak passwords, sharing personal details and not using two factor authentication (where it’s available) have led to illegal hacker-access to their personal information and identity theft.

Year 2014 is expected to bring new awareness in users’ approach towards dealing with cyber crime. Post 2013, the social media users will be more careful with the personal information they will be sharing on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ etc. According to the company, there may also be resurgence of users going for aliases and fake names on social networking sites to evade identity thieves.

This wave of awareness is going to influence teens the most who will be more concerned about their privacy. A new trend of niche social networking sites may start where teens will be hanging out with their friends in obscurity or hidden networks, which are not accessible to hackers (according to them).

Scammers, identity thieves, data collectors and cyber criminals will continue to target social networks

The second prediction says, no matter how much precaution you take to beat the hackers, they are not going to stop anyway. They will keep looking for new ways and technologies to target your privacy through social networks, no matter how “niche” or obscure.

The idea of moving to a new neighborhood, a virtual world of social network, may help you forget the fear of hackers for a moment. But actually it doesn’t. No sphere of social networking is inaccessible to hackers, if you don’t adhere to the requisite security measures. Any new social network that becomes the darling of users can be a target of scammers and miscreants.

Symantec warns users against anything that sounds too good to be true as it can be a scam. Follow the ground rules: use best security practices wherever you are.

The “Internet of Things” has become the “Internet of Vulnerabilities.”

As the Symantec predicts, in 2014 dumb things will be getting smarter. The facts millions of devices are interconnected through Internet and some of which are running an embedded operating system, the risk of hackers attracting to them increases.

The security researchers have already exposed the vulnerability of medical equipment, security cameras and smart televisions against cyber crimes. An incidence of accessing computer systems through a security camera system has already been reported in Israel.

Mobile apps helping hackers

Our blind faith in our mobiles and mobile apps may cost us heavily in 2014 as hackers are going to put these apps to their advantage. As the study quotes, mobile apps are going to be used for cons, hoaxes and scams of all sorts in 2014.

Going by Symantec’s predictions, the new technologies and excessive use of Internet will benefit hackers and cyber criminals.

The only way to tackle this condition is to strictly follow Internet security guidelines, viz. choose strong passwords and don’t share them with anybody, protect your system with some good antivirus or anti-malware software (the free versions won’t do) and adopt two factor authentication or multifactor authentication wherever applicable.

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