Threats set to rise

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Threats set to rise

Simon Quicke

There are a couple of weeks of this year left, but already, thoughts in the industry have turned to concentrating on what will be the areas for resellers to focus on in 2008.

One of the givens across the market is that the threats will continue to rise, with the criminal elements exploiting weaknesses to gain access to personal data and sensitive company information.

According to a source at ScanSafe, one of those areas where weaknesses could emerge is around Web 2.0 - with users showing high levels of naivety posting personal details on social networking sites and falling for phishing tricks that are using online advertising as a cover.

One of the other areas of threats that the vendor has identified is remote access, with more staff likely to become roaming workers next year.

Wick Hill chairman Ian Kilpatrick agreed that remote working was going to be an area of concern that would lead to opportunities for the channel.

"Things will get considerably more complex and we will see changes based on internal and external threats and the constant drift towards teleworking," said Kilpatrick.

But he added that one of the areas that would grow as a consequence would be authentication and encryption tools.

Kilpatrick pointed to the significant number of users still failing to ensure that only the right people could access data, and said there was room for growth in that market.

"Around 93 per cent of businesses don't have secure authentication. It is a market that is totally immature," he said.

"Security is going to grow next year and we are seeing opportunities in different sectors," he added.

The high-profile problems encountered by HMRC as a result of losing unencrypted data about millions of people has also created a buzz around that area of the security market. Resellers have been exploiting that buzz and are likely to continue to do so next year.

Another area that will continue to evolve is spam. Already this year, there have been reports of MP3 and PDF spam and the expectation from Websense is that vishing and voice spam will become more prevalent next year.

The iPhone is already being touted as a platform that will be targeted in 2008 by hackers.

"2007 was the year of the browser exploit, the data breach, spyware and the storm worm. We expect 2008 to be the year of the iPhone attack, the Chinese Hacker, P2P network spammers and the hijacking of the Storm botnet," said Jose Nazario, senior security engineer at Arbor Networks.

"Online fraud is soaring and security attacks are now being used in countless and ever more sophisticated ways to both steal and launder money. Financial and other confidential data is being obtained, sold and utilised in the highly developed black market," he added.

One of the specific targets that hackers might choose to exploit is the Olympics, and several anti-virus and filtering specialists are braced for attacks around that global event next summer.

But with cyber crime now a global problem, there is also an expectation that the burden of fighting off attacks will be taken up more by the global law enforcement agencies.

Earlier this year at InfoSec, Microsoft UK's chief security officer Edward Gibson, himself a former FBI employee, said vendors were working a great deal more with law enforcement agencies (MicroScope, 30 April).

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