A couple of weeks ago, the RSA Security conference took place in San Francisco, CA. The increasing sophistication of hackers and visibility of data breaches (including one on the conference’s namesake company last year) makes this an exciting time to be in the security business.. While this show is for corporate IT and security professionals, there are some things that consumers can take away from all of this.
Social networking sites are prime targets for cybercriminals: Hackers are aware of the large numbers of people using sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and are using this to their advantage by putting offers out there to try and get you to click on malicious links. Security companies are using it to get the word out on protection. Security companies are using social media to help educate consumers – take the time to read their advice. McAfee pulls together lots of great content and advice and has over 575k on Facebook.
Hackers are targeting intellectual property: For a decade now credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and everything needed to take over accounts or open news ones has been a target. Criminals still want all that, and they also want proprietary data that will help their nation or company get an edge.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) will be a bigger topic: You’ve heard the term “it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN” and this applies to APTs. APTs are ongoing threats where the intent to persistently and effectively target a specific entity and can take criminals days to decades to achieve their goal.
Multiple layers of protection: For the enterprise, this is protection at all points, but this also applies to consumers. It used to be that all you needed was a firewall, then you needed antivirus, now you need anti-spam, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and for heavens sake make sure your wireless is protected too. This is just the beginning! Expect more layers to come.
Protect the data and the device: It used to be all you had to be concerned about was protecting your PC. Now you have to be equally proactive in protecting your Mac, tablet and mobile phone. You still need antivirus and all the different layers of protection mentioned in the point above, but you also need to be aware of what stuff you have all your devices that can expose your personal information and identity.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee.