10 Biggest IT Security Threats of 2014

It is an ongoing struggle for businesses to get thorough protection against IT security threats, since there are a lot of different things that require attention. As we are about to find out, in 2014 there have been a lot of threats that have made significant impact on businesses everywhere.

These threats have been monitored and the ISF (an independent, non-profit organization that aims at investigating Internet Security in businesses and highlighting red flags) has reported possible dangers that every business and individual ought to pay attention to, in avoidance of negative consequences emerging and deteriorating one’s user experience.

So, below we are going to display the 10 biggest IT security threats for the year of 2014; this is a wake-up call for all individuals, companies and business men out there! If left untreated or ignored, they can lead to substantial damage to the individual privacy and integrity, as well as the overall performance of the company in the long run – so, beware of what might come up!

Most Severe IT Security Threats to Consider

  • Cyber Attacks of All Sorts: There is an alarming increase in cyber attacks, many of which are sponsored by Governments and target the fields of education, insurance and military forces. Having that in mind, every single business should be well aware that cyber attacks aim at hitting their targets economically and cracking their security. This is a new version of war, with similar casualties.
  • Cloud Computing Issues: It is true that cloud computing has faced an all time low in 2014, when it comes to the trust shown by business men. And that’s only because of the issues and concerns being raised in cloud computing, lately. According to a press release of BT in September, more than 3 out of 4 professionals expressed their grave concern regarding the security breaches in the cloud. Still, the same press release notes that, despite all this concern, most of these professionals engage in mass consumer products referring to the cloud, rather than personalized, private cloud solutions that would help minimize the problem.
  • China: 2014 IT security threats could not exclude China. This is the country that has been reported as most active in the field of cyber attacks, either ordering them or backing them up. Five military hackers from China were charged by the US for cyber espionage, while the Apple iCloud data storage was under attack by presumably Chinese backed hackers. These are just few of the examples that take place on a regular basis, making China a significant threat.
  • Apple Concerns: Although Apple has been regarded as the safest OS (operating system), a number of irritating vulnerabilities has made everyone question this acknowledgement. Goto fail was a serious vulnerability that emerged in February and this was not the only incident in the same year that alarmed the users of this OS. Of course, Microsoft has had similar vulnerabilities affect its users at the same time.
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Patterns at Work: It goes without even saying that the more the computers and other devices of employees are brought at the office, the more substantial the risk of the overall infrastructure at the business environment. Such devices that are not equipped with advanced security software and other tools are much more prone to being compromised. Loss of privacy and leakage of classified documents is a serious threat in such instances.
  • Attacks in Social Platforms: Cyber security threats definitely include the attacks that are made in social platforms. In the case of Facebook, Bitdefender has shed some light when it comes to Facebook scams. Due to the exponential growth of the success rate in social media, such scams and threats definitely qualify as severe damages in their credibility.
  • Malware in Android: Above, we have referred to Apple and its grave vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, the Android OS has concentrated 97% of the mobile malware threats and this sets it as a primary suspect for vulnerabilities. In 2014, a lot of incidents have occurred and they do not seem promising for Android versions and their users.
  • Windows XP Vulnerabilities: As you all know, Microsoft has ceased support for Windows XP. As you can guess, this comes as no surprise to hackers and all other people who wish to take advantage of vulnerabilities. In an unprotected environment, it is far easier to penetrate the system and benefit from the lack of security for getting at what you want. The same goes for Windows XP and therefore it should not be an option for Internet users.
  • Mega Retail Issues: There is a remarkable increase in POS (point of sale) malware and this is certainly something to keep an eye on. After Target and Home Depot, Smart and Home Depot, it is true that payment methods can easily be compromised and personal, sensitive data can be proven extremely vulnerable. Retailers are left powerless in many cases and POS malware continues on expanding.
  • Shellshock: Shellshock is a software bug that has raised attention and has made everyone concerned about its extent and power. Unix, Linux and Mac servers are attacked with the active contribution of Shellshock. It is also known as the Bashdoor and it has served towards competing breaches of security without any delay. The Shellshock bug was brought to light in September.

After having highlighted the ten most substantial threats in the field of IT security for the year of 2014, you can see how versatile threats can be and why you ought to be vigilant at all times. Do not hold back on the overall security layering of yours and do not think twice before checking your device for similar threats. The power is in your hands!

Ali Qamar Ali Qamar is a seasoned blogger and loves keeping a keen eye on the future of tech. He is a geek. He is a privacy enthusiast and advocate. He is crazy (and competent) about internet security, digital finance, and technology. Ali is the founder of PrivacySavvy and an aspiring entrepreneur.
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