14 IT security predictions for 2014

7. Website wars
Financial institutions have been battling waves of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks over the past two years. This will spread to a wider range of public sites, aimed at causing downtime and disruption ? for example, the US Healthcare.gov (Obamacare) site. We will also see more complex, multi-vector attacks on websites that combine DDoS with account tampering and fraud.

8. Customer data theft
Customer information is still a prize target, as the high-profile hacks which stole tens of millions of users? credentials from Adobe, Evernote and LivingSocial showed this year. Any organisation which holds volumes of customer data is a target for hackers.

9. Anti-social media
Hijacking Twitter users? accounts is commonplace: in April, a hacked Associated Press Twitter account issued a bogus report claiming that the White House had been bombed, causing the Dow Jones index to fall 150 points in minutes. Hijacking will start to spread to more business-oriented social media sites, with criminals starting to hijack LinkedIn accounts to help them profile or phish other users to mount attacks.

10. Smart home invasion
As the Internet of Things develops, and more IP-based household appliances are introduced (smart TVs, personal networks etc), criminals will look for weaknesses that can be exploited by hooking into these systems to gain personal information ? such as your daily living patterns.

Although these 10 threat predictions seem bleak, security protections against threats continue to evolve, too. 

 Here are my four predictions of how defences will develop in 2014.

11. Unifying layers of security
Single-layer security architectures, or multi-vendor point solutions no longer offer effective protection to organisations.  We will see more and more vendors attempting to offer unified, single-source solutions through development, partnership and acquisition. This is already happening, and we will see increasing collaboration to fight threats.

12. Big data
Big data will give tremendous opportunities for threat analytics, enabling identification and analysis of patterns relating to past and emerging threats. Vendors will increasingly integrate these analytics capabilities into their solutions; and enterprises will also invest in their own analytics to help with decision-making through enhanced context and awareness of threats to their business.

13. Threat collaboration 
Security vendors and customers realise that no single organisation can have a complete picture of the threat landscape. Collaborative sharing of threat intelligence is needed to maintain up-to-date protection. This will drive partnerships between security vendors and end-users to augment unified security solutions with the latest intelligence to coordinate the fight against threats.

14. Cloud consolidation
The cloud is where it will all come together ? unified security, big data and threat collaboration. It will be the platform that supports and enables delivery of these enhanced protections to organisations.

Gabi Reish is VP of product management at Check Point.

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