Old was new again in security in 2013: Blue Coat

Old was new again in security in 2013: Blue Coat

Security vendor also finds that ramsomware is expected to cost businesses more next year

The security space may have been abuzz with activity in 2013, but Blue Coat Systems product marketing director, Jonathan Andresen, said it was essentially the same trends recycled with some adjustments.

To illustrate his point, Andresen compared this year’s trends in security to fashion, in that what was once out of style comes back eventually.

“For example, we recently saw a malvertising attack centred around fake Java attacks,” he said.

“Malvertising itself is nothing new, but what we saw with this is how much more believable and real the message looks, including more realistic domain names.”

Exploit kits also gained significant usage throughout the year, with Andresen picking the Blackhole package as one of the more popular ones.

With the continued adoption of services such as Facebook and Twitter, Andresen said the last few demonstrated how social media is being used increasingly to “open the door to cyber attacks.”

Held at ransom

Cybercrime is forecast to become more sophisticated in 2014, particularly with the upsurge of ransomware, a type of malware holds a company’s IT and corporate data hostage.

Andresen has seen many enterprise IT organisations tackle the ransomware problem with traditional network security solutions, though investment in purpose built web security solutions is seen are more beneficial.

“It is obvious that the Internet and web applications are becoming an extension of the corporate datacentre, and most enterprises are completely unprepared for the security vulnerabilities that this means,” he said.

“Industry leading secure web gateways has improved significantly and is now a necessary first layer of defence for web threat protection.”

In the space of a few weeks, Andresen said the cost of retrieving data from ransomware is rising, particularly compared to approximately 12 months ago when he saw criminals typically demand $200.

“The problem remains that there’s no guarantee that the payment will even result in your files being decrypted, so we generally advise against paying the extortionists, as success only emboldens them, and funds the creation of newer, more elaborate scams,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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