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Cybercrime, other security issues will increase: McAfee

A Staff Reporter
Filed on April 15, 2007

DUBAI The second and latest issue of the Global Threat Report, a semi-annual security journal produced by California-based security technology company, McAfee, examines the near-term future of the security business. It looks at the threats, defences and issues security professionals will face over the next five years. Topics include cybercrime, Microsoft Windows Vista security, spyware, spam, cell phone security, data leakage and security risk management.

"The Global Threat Report is designed to help security experts stay ahead in today's ever-shifting threat landscape, offering views of what they should watch for and beware of as they plan for the future," said regional director of McAfee Middle East, Patrick Hayati.

The report's conclusions are summarised below.

The future of cybercrime: Cybercrime follows money. The majority of cybercriminals target PC users, but the report concludes that we can expect more attackers to branch out to other areas of technology, such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and radio frequency identifications (RFID), as those technologies become more widely adopted.

Securing applications: Application security is a continual race and developers are struggling to keep up. As more information comes to light about the nature of computer software bugs and how they might be exploited, hackers can apply this information to their discovery process and find vulnerabilities that were previously considered to be secure.

The future of security, Vista edition: While Microsoft has taken steps to make the base of Microsoft Windows Vista more secure, the improvements both weaken third-party efforts to secure systems and don't go far enough to do the job alone.

Spyware grows up: Although programmers add some security measures during development, new spyware technology often far surpasses the best planning of even the most diligent engineers, opening new fronts of attacks. Spyware will follow us into new technologies, such as Bluetooth and RFID.

Emails Spam Plague Persists: McAfee expects to see very little increase in the percentage of spam volume over the next two years, but overall spam volume will increase as worldwide bandwidth grows. Image spam is the latest way for spam writers to dodge defenses.

Online crime migrates to mobile phones: While current mobile phone service is generally considered safe, McAfee is seeing a rapid growth in mobile attacks with increasingly technical diversification.

Closing the data leakage tap: Data leakage is an emerging security concern and has an enormous impact on the reputation of a business. While drive encryption is the only preventative technology that's reasonably mature, McAfee expects that basic data leakage prevention and disk encryption will be fairly ubiquitous in regulated enterprises within the next five years.

Managing risk: Security risk management is an important strategy issue for IT managers. Organisations that fail to select a risk management process, and resign themselves to reactive threat management, will find that the businesses they are chartered with protecting will sail on without them.

Commenting on the findings, Hayati said: "The constant struggle between security personnel and malware authors is an arms race-no matter how quickly security professionals design new safeguards, the bad guys seem to make similar advances."





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