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Microsoft Predicts Top Cyber Threats for 2014

Microsoft Predicts Top Cyber Threats for 2014
By Jennifer LeClaire

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There's very little to argue with here, but other than the World Cup, Microsoft's top security predictions for 2014 could easily be a list for 2013 or even 2015. Usually lists like Microsoft's 2014 top security predictions make me painfully aware of how little progress the security industry makes as time rolls on, said security expert Ken Pickering.
 


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“As users upgrade and install current applications, malicious actors will refocus their efforts on social engineering and weak credentials to gain access to systems and accounts. In 2014, enterprises and individual users should be wary of increased and novel social engineering attempts and consider use of multi-factor authentication to protect their accounts,” he added.

Ransomware Will Impact More People

Tracey Pretorius, a director at Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing, said although ransomware has been around for years, to date, ransomware infections have been on a much smaller scale than other types of malware. But, given increased levels of success attackers have had with this type of extortion scheme in 2013, Pretorius predicts more attackers will embrace this business model in 2014 and ransomware infections will rise.

“As the probability of encountering a potentially super impactful threat increases, so does the risk. Now is the time for organizations to plan mitigations for ransomware. Besides running up-to-date anti-malware software from a vendor you trust, backups are extremely important,” Pretorius said. “For many of the systems that get infected by this type of threat, the only guaranteed way to recover data that has been encrypted by attackers is to restore it from backup after the system has been disinfected or rebuilt. Leveraging the cloud to do this is a low cost option."

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