Cyberthreats Evolve Inside Cloud, Mobile

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 12:00 am  

“One of the biggest coming trends we see in the next year is mobile malware,” O’Brian said. “Particularly in some operating systems. Apple has got pretty good control of iOS, but Androids are the Wild, Wild West, especially earlier releases.”

Methods to combat this threat are still being developed, O’Brian said.

“There are solutions out there which essentially take your iPhone and divide it into a private side and a public side,” O’Brian said. “The private side has a set of IT policies from the company that say where you can go and what you can do, and they can encrypt the data that you store.”

Malware on mobile devices has increased by 500 percent during the past several years, O’Brian said, while malware on PCs has remained fairly stable.

Because Windstream isn’t a mobile operator, it doesn’t have to deal directly with such threats, but it still has to protect its cloud customers.

“We have a whole suite of products,” said Kelley McCasland, a consultant who markets Windstream’s security products. She said Windstream has several types of firewalls, Web and email security products, and intrusion prevention systems.

Another emerging security threat, O’Brian said, will be from machine-to-machine exploits, wherein devices with built-in computers are reprogrammed. This could mean anything from a washing machine never finishing its cycle to missile firing systems self-destructing.

“Maybe they’ll target home security systems, or terrorists will go after airports,” O’Brian said. “Along with mobile systems, that’s going to be the next crunch area for malware.”

Expert Advice

How often should a company change or update its security systems? We put the question to both O'Brian and McCasland.

McCasland: “At least annually. And really, I think that’s why there’s more reason to go with a service provider to do that for you, so you don’t have to worry about making those updates.”

O’Brian: “My response is probably at least every day. Because of the statistics on new viruses, Web attacks and application attacks discovered in a typical week, we’re talking about over 100,000. One of our major partners finds, in the wild, a few viruses every week, a couple thousand app-based attacks and just literally thousands of new attack signatures or variations of old ones.”

 

 

 

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