The Top 5 Cyber Security Threats in 2011

As professionals continue to manage cyber risks within their businesses, it’s critical to keep an eye firmly affixed on the origins of threats, as well as the possible extent of potential attacks. In fact, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, out of the 662 breaches it registered in 2010, close to 40 percent of the listed breaches had no cause specified — companies didn’t know where the breaches came from.

In this article, Aarij Khan, director of product marketing for ArcSight, discusses the top five security threats to watch out for in 2011. According to Khan’s research, he believes the following threats will be prominent this year:

1. Traditional malware
The primary mechanism of distributing software to computers on the Internet, traditional malware presents a very serious risk in the cyber world. Trojans will remain the preferred vehicle for malware distribution, according to Khan. Be on the lookout for document attachments that contain viruses, such as PDF files.

2. Shift to advanced persistent threat (APT)
APTs are more advanced attacks that target specific businesses and institutions with the specific goal of bypassing a firewall and then acquiring confidential data. Unfortunately, without proper monitoring, weeks or months can pass before an organization even knows it’s under attack.

3. Focus on finance, hospitality and retail
These three industries will face increased risk in 2011, according to Khan.

4. Mobile devices increase vulnerabilities
According to 3M’s 2010 Visual Data Breach Risk Assessment Study, seven out of 10 companies don’t have “policies outlining which devices can be logged on to the network or on working in public places.” With the number of individuals working remotely, risk of using mobile devices increases.

5. “Hactivism” as a new type of threat
After MasterCard, Visa and PayPal recently cut off financial services to WikiLeaks, the companies were all compromised via hactivism, a new political movement that seeks to compromise and then disrupt in the name of “political righteousness.”

For more information on these potential cyber threats, read the full article: