Cyber attacks to pose business threat throughout 2013

The threat of cyber attacks will be present throughout 2013, according to a new report conducted by Verizon.

A study into the dangers posed to information security discovered that authentication attacks and “hactivism” will be a real threat for businesses this year and they are something organisations should be prepared for.

Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report noted that all-out cyber attacks are less likely to impact businesses and the sensitive information they own, firm should still brace themselves for any possible data breach, as attackers will still persevere.

“First and foremost, we don’t believe there will be an all-out cyber war, although it’s possible,” said Wade Baker, principal author of the data breach report. “Rather, an enterprise’s 2013 data breach is much more likely to result from low-and-slow attacks.”

The report found that 90 per cent of threats in the next 12 months will come in the form of authentications attacks and failures, which means that organisations should make sure they have a sound process in place for creating, managing and monitoring user accounts on all of their systems.

This is particularly true of larger companies and governments around the world, as it is likely these types of operations will be the main targets. Verizon’s Research Intelligence Solutions Knowledge (RISK) Team found that three out of four attacks will hit these organisations.

“Given these odds, organisations that choose to take their chances and ignore secure application development and assessment practices in 2013 are asking for trouble,” Mr Baker explained.

He noted that social engineering, such as the likes of phishing scams will still be a danger, but information security can be enhanced through the education of employees to the dangers posed by cyber criminals.

Espionage and hacktivism motivated by political grudges looks set to dominate 2013 when it comes to cyber attacks, with Verizon urging organisations to make sure their service providers are taking steps to avoid any such attacks.

The growing use of mobile devices will also pose a greater problem in 2013, particularly when it comes to lost, stolen and unencrypted mobile devices, so once businesses allow the use or personal devices it is important to get the correct security measures in place.