Love it or hate it the vast majority of us are constantly connected to the Internet to communicate with others and conduct business. Improved battery, chip and wireless technologies combined with reasonably priced smart phones, tablets, readers and gaming devices have allowed the digital world to permeate into almost every facet of our lives.
And, as more people migrate to mobile and cloud services for communication and commerce, cybercriminals will continue to increase the number of threats they produce.
Did you know…
… there are over 2.7 billion active Internet users and 6.8 billion mobile subscribers worldwide;
… one in five small businesses falls victim to cybercrime each year according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. And of those, some 60% go out of business within six months after an attack. In other words you’ve got a 20% chance of being hacked, and if it happens there’s a good chance your business is finished.
… 400 million tweets, 19 billion Instant messages, and 154.6 billion emails are sent every day;
… 156 million phishing emails are sent every day claiming 80,000 victims per GetCyberSafe.ca;
… 55% of American adult cell owners use the internet on their mobile phones;
… Android devices draw 79% of malware due to the open-source Android Relevant Products/Services operating system. Symbian OS draws 19% and way back in third place among malware is Apple's iOS at 0.7 percent, followed by Windows Mobile at 0.3 percent, BlackBerry at 0.3 percent and “Others” combined at 0.7% according to CIO Today;
… 8,200 new unique threats are found every hour according to Trend Micro;
… Consumer Reports found about 1.6 million Americans were victims of smart phone theft in 2012.
You’ve probably heard about the cloud and this topic alone could be a long article as far as security ramifications. There are advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud so make sure you do some homework before you jump into this technology.
Basically cloud computing is a subscription-based service where you can obtain networked storage space and computer resources. US-CERT.gov explains one way to think of cloud computing is similar to web based email providers. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and others take care of housing all of the hardware and software necessary to support your personal email account.
When you want to access your email you open your web browser, go to the email client, and log in. The most important part of the equation is having internet access. Your email is not housed on your physical computer; you access it through an internet connection, and you can access it anywhere.
However, when you use the cloud you have limited control over who has access to your information and little to no knowledge of where it is stored. You also must be aware of the security risks of having data stored on the cloud. The cloud is a big target for malicious individuals and may have disadvantages since it can be accessed through an unsecured internet connection.
Mobile payment systems, apps, etc.
Many analysts predict mobile technology and smartphones are moving us towards a cashless system. Apps and programs are making smartphones function as debit, credit and loyalty cards so users don’t have to carry plastic anymore in various countries.
Symantec predicts mobile devices will become more valuable as cell providers and retail stores transition to mobile payments. Criminals will use malware to hijack payment information from people in retail environments or continue to try to crack into services like eWallet and others. And low-tech crime like stealing phones will increase too.
Smartphone and tablet apps come in handy for mobile payments, banking, home security systems and other aspects of day-to-day living, however … keep in mind if you lose your phone (or it’s stolen) and you don’t have it programmed with a way to locate, lock and/or erase your data remotely, you run the risk of identity theft or worse since someone may gain access to your physical home too.
Tips to help secure your PC and handheld devices
Source: Fedhealth October 2013 enews
Great article and information for all
Thanks for the invite Janet, having this information in one place will be a big help to me. I'm constantly trying to keep up with these trends and you just made my day less hectic when it comes to security. Thanks for all you do to keep us informed!! CH Ron
Thx CH Ron - a few of these were in Disaster prep group but I wanted to pull them into separate group since so many cyber issues nowadays. More to come