Top 10 Security Predictions for 2012

SEATTLE, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – WatchGuard Technologies

Highlights / News Facts:

WatchGuard Technologies’ security analysts provide their 2012 security predictions:

10) HTML5 offers five times the ways to hijack your websiteNew web technologies like HTML5 fuel the growth for next year’s web application attacks

Like the web technologies that came before it, HTML5 is generally secure. In fact, it introduces some security benefits that could help developers avoid common web application pitfalls.  However, the security of HTML5 applications is dependent on the skill and care with which the developers create them.  HTML5 is new and complex.  Developers are still getting comfortable with it, which means they are likely to make programming mistakes that could translate into web vulnerabilities.  For this reason, WatchGuard predicts that the increased usage of HTML5 will heavily contribute to web applications attacks next year.

9) Location aware malware customizes its attacksSpyware knows where you live

WatchGuard suspects that malware will increasingly leverage geolocation to customize attacks, thus increasing its money making potential.  A simple technique already in use is to forward victims in specific locales targeted fraud sites that work best in that region. WatchGuard anticipates hackers will find even more malicious ways to exploit geolocation in malware next year.

8 ) Attackers launch a digital attack that affects physical infrastructure or equipmentMy power plant got a virus infection

Expect at least one digital attack in 2012 to cause a significant repercussion to a physical infrastructure system.

7) As the top vector for social engineering and malware, Facebook is forced to increase its securityIf Facebook doesn’t “like” security they’ll surely get “poked”

Two years ago, WatchGuard predicted that social networks would be a dangerous playground for attackers. Last year, WatchGuard predicted that Facebook links would take over where malicious email attachments left off. This year both those predictions continue to prove true. Expect to see more Facebook security updates next year.

6) Adoption of BYOD and IT self-service results in more data loss Bring your own device means clean your own infections

In 2012, WatchGuard anticipates several data loss incidents and breaches as a result of the increased adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and self-serve IT.

5) Smartphone app stores and marketplaces help proliferate mobile malware in the real world Who planted digital weeds into my mobile app garden?

In 2012, WatchGuard forecasts that the mobile threat will continue to grow, but with a more specific source – app stores and marketplaces. To avoid mobile malware, be careful of what is downloaded from an app marketplace, and verify that the associated vendor does a solid job validating apps.

4) Increased reliance on virtualization reawakens need for virtual security Unprotected virtual machines make bad neighbors

Expect to see a considerable rise in interest for virtualization security solutions among smaller and medium businesses next year, due to their increased reliance on this technology.

3) The barrage of noteworthy data breaches continues through 2012 – Hacktivists and script-kiddies rage against the machine

Whether due to APT attackers, criminal malware authors, or hacktivist groups like Anonymous and LulzSec, WatchGuard saw more headline-grabbing hacks than in any previous year.

2) Organized criminals will leverage Advanced Malware techniques in targeted attacks against businesses – Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) trickle down to SMBs and Consumers

Expect the APT trend to continue in 2012, but with a slightly new twist. APTs will trickle down to everyday people.

1) A major cloud provider will suffer a significant security breach – Cloud Computing brings chance of malware-storms

In 2012, expect organized criminals to target cloud services, and significantly breach at least one well-known cloud provider. That said, also expect to see smarter, trustworthy cloud providers recognize that risk, and add premium security to their offerings.


“2012 stands to be a dynamic year for network security as criminals and hackers take threats to new levels,” said Eric Aarrestad, Vice President at WatchGuard Technologies. “Given how new threats are constantly evolving, WatchGuard remains ever vigilant in staying one step ahead of these threats, which gives our customers unparalleled protection for their networks, applications and data.”

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