This year will also see a rise in the number of threats related to economic and domestic cyberespionage with cybermercenaries playing an active role in such attacks.
Kaspersky Lab’s global research & analysis team principal security researcher, Vitaly Kamluk, summarises 2014 in one phrase — “The Year of Recovering Lost Trust.”
This is not surprisingly, as much of what the company has seen in its crystal balls is connected to the fallout from Edward Snowden’s revelation that the United States is building a clandestine surveillance program for spying.
This has led users to be more careful about their online activites and the information stored on their devices and PCs, he says.
This will lead to greater popularity for VPN (virtual private network) services and encryption tools that allow users to be annonymous on the Net.
According to Kamluk, Snowden’s information leaks have also demonstrated that one of the goals of cyberespionage between states is to provide economic aid to “friendly” companies.
This factor has broken down ethical barriers which initially restrained businesses from using unconventional methods to compete with their rivals.
“Companies will have to resort to business cyberespionage as a means of remaining competitive because their rivals are already spying in order to get a competitive advantage.
“Some companies may even spy on governments, as well as on their employees, partners and suppliers,” he says.
Kasperky Lab also expects hackers to continue targeting ISPs (Internet service providers), Cloud storage providers and software developers.
A number of popular Internet services have already announced the implementation of additional measures to protect user data such as the use of encryption for all data transmitted between their own servers. Implemention of more sophisticated protection measures will continue and will likely become a key factor when users choose between rival web services.
Hackers are also targeting the employees who work in such environments, as they are viewed as the weakest link in the security chain. A successful attack here could hand cybercriminals the keys to huge volumes of data.
In addition to data theft, attackers could also delete or modify information — in some cases manipulation and misinformation is considered more valuable than just stealing data.
Dancing with danger
Rise in targeted threats
The wolves of the Web
Androids under attack