ENISA, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, has released a new report on evolving cybersecurity threats. And needless to say, in a global information era its findings do not just apply to Europe. Mobile technology and distributed systems are providing new tools for hackers, and new threats to organizations and networks everywhere.
What this interim report shows should not really surprise anyone. Hackers are adapting the latest technologies to launch attacks that are more difficult to detect, harder to trace even when detected, and not easily stopped.
One big part of this new threat picture is the growing use of distributed (or "peer-to-peer") networks as a platform for attacks. Such platforms, popular for file-sharing by consumers, first became familiar from illegal music downloads, but they offer hackers a broad range of capabilities and opportunities.
Because these networks are distributed, they cannot be knocked down by taking out one central source. Even tracing them is difficult, because most of the resources they use are stolen from innocent users whose computers have been cyber-hijacked.
Even more prominent in the new threat picture is mobile technology, and its close cousin, social media. Social media is migrating from the desktop and laptop to the tablet and smartphone – and in the process it is becoming even more pervasive.
More personal information is available through mobile social media. And because the users are on the go, surrounded by distractions, they are more vulnerable to "social engineering" attacks. Who needs "phishing" emails, when tweets can do the same job, tricking users into providing compromising data?
In addition, new payment technologies are making fraudulent transactions easier to make and harder to trace.
And, says ENISA, the threat to infrastructure is growing, with cyber-attacks now a growing cause of telecommunications outages.
Threats are more mobile and more subtle. Let GRT Corporation be your partner in helping you to safeguard your network and data against the new generation of cyber-attacks.