Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report Expanding Connectivity Has Significant Impact on Online Threats

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Cisco’s 2013 Annual Security Report reveals that the highest concentration of online security threats come from legitimate destinations visited by mass audiences, namely major search engines, retail sites and social media outlets. 0.5 percent of malware encountered on the web is related to mobile operating systems. The acceptance of the Android platform in the mobile market has led to an explosive growth of malware targetting the platform. With BYOD becoming an accepted trend, 95% of organizations globally already let employees utilize their own devices in the workplace. This has seen employees use the devices for both personal and business activities. Issues which arise in such a scenario include potential loss of confidential company data as IT departments have less control over these devices. Companies in 2013 will have to ensure that devices have business application and data isolated and protected.

The top sources of spam worldwide are India, US, Korea, China and Vietnam. Prescription drugs and luxury watches are the most spammed brands with spammers targeting real-world events with specific and short-lived campaigns.  This include the Windows software targetted during the release of the Microsoft Windows 8 consumer preview and  tax software which was the focus of spammers during the U.S. tax season.  Spam volume dropped 18 percent from 2012 to 2011, with spammers working for a 25 percent drop in spam over the weekend. Majority of spam sent in 2012 happened during the workweek with Tuesday being the heaviest spam day of the year.

More people and devices are connecting to the Internet introducing several points susceptible to attack across corporate and service provider networks. This creates a need for more sophisticated security approaches. Any network-aware device can now connect to any cloud and any application across any network.  By 2020, with an Internet open to an estimated 50 billion things, the number of connections balloons to over 13 quadrillion. These new connections generate data in motion that needs to be protected in real time as it is evaluated for actionable insights through the network and before it’s compromised and causes irreparable damages.  For network security professionals, the focus becomes content-neutral plumbing shifting from the endpoint and the periphery to the network.

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