Kaspersky released its 2013 annual report last month.  It contains many interesting cybersecurity highlights from which we can benefit.  I highly recommend the report as an excellent review of what has happened with cybersecurity last year.

In addition to its 2013 cybersecurity review, the report wraps up with its cybersecurity forecast for 2014 (pp. 50–54).  These are the areas Kaspersky believes will be the biggest threats to governments, companies, and individuals.  Here, I provide the forecasted threats with my very brief paraphrase of each one:

Mobile Threats.  Android-based devices will be targeted aggressively because there is money to be made.  Be especially alert to new viruses, malware, and botnets that attempt to commandeer bank account access.

Attacks On Bitcoin.  Predicted to be one of the most high-profile topics, bitcoin theft will be anonymous and highly lucrative.

The Problems Of Protecting Privacy.  Email, cloud services, social media, government intrusion, and globalization all create the perfect storm for privacy violations.

Attacks On Cloud Storage Facilities.  Hackers see cloud-storage employees as the most vulnerable link in the security chain.  Breaches here will give hackers access to enormous quantities of all kinds of data.

Attacks On Software Developers.  These attacks can capture proprietary ID source code that hackers can then leverage for attacks on virtually any major company.

Cyber-Mercenaries.  Increasing numbers of companies are abandoning ethical standards by contracting with organized teams of highly sophisticated hackers.  These groups will do anything for a price.

Fragmentation Of The Internet.  As cybersecurity threats grow, nations are considering restricting their online access to their own networks.  Carried to its logical conclusion, the dark shadowy underworld of the Internet will be the only worldwide network, while all others will be restricted based on national or political boundaries.

The Pyramid Of Cyber-Threats.  The pyramid’s bottom level will consist of ordinary individual criminals seeking easy money from regular Internet users.  The middle level will consist of cyber-threats among corporations.  The top level will be nations and governments warring among each other.

It will be interesting to see how each of these predictions play out this year.  Unfortunately, I think Kaspersky’s batting average will be quite high.  In the meantime, it behooves all of us as individuals, companies, and organizations to pay close attention to our cybersecurity every single day of 2014.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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