The Nation



Top 5 security predictions for 2014 by Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs

FortiGuard Labs' 2014 security predictions have been announced by Fortinet, highlighting 5 threats to watch out for next year.

According to Fortinet's press statement, the top 5 security predictions for 2014 are:

1. Android malware expands to industrial control systems

As sales of mobile phones likely plateau in the coming years, Android developers are being tasked to find untapped markets for the Google operating system. A few of these emerging markets include tablets, portable game consoles, wearable devices, home automation equipment and industrial control systems (ICS/SCADA). So, FortiGuard Labs predict the first instances of malware on these new device types, specifically around embedded ICS/SCADA systems next year. FortiGuard Labs don’t believe there will be a "mobile-Stuxnet" in 2014 and it thinks cybercriminals will be attracted to platforms that go beyond common SMS fraud. This includes new home automation devices that have control over electrical consumption, the temperature of fridges, etc. and feature software with remote login control panels to show/confirm who may be at home at a given time. This is bound to give cybercriminals new and nefarious ideas around how and when to rob someone's home.

2. The battle for the deep web

While the FBI will broaden its scope of targets in the coming year, FortiGuard Labs believes the agency will also continue to make inroads into the Tor dark net and questionable file sharing services such as Mega Upload. Knowing the cat and mouse games black and white hats have been playing since the dawn of the first computer viruses, FortiGuard Labs predicts the increased scrutiny of these "anonymous" services will lead to new and improved versions that will be even harder to infiltrate, compromise and/or take down. FortiGuard Labs has already seen the MegaUpload takedown birth Mega, a fundamentally more robust platform.

3. Network security vendors forced to become more transparent

In September, the Federal Trade Commission severely penalized a company that marketed video monitoring technology to consumers for suggesting in its literature that their product was "secure" when evidence clearly showed it was not. This was the agency's first action against a marketer of an everyday product with interconnectivity to the Internet and other mobile devices, and the company was required to make a number of conciliatory measures. Next year, FortiGuard Labs predict increased scrutiny and accountability at the network security vendor level. Customers are no longer going to accept the "proprietary security-hardened OS" marketing spin. They will demand proof, and when they are subject to undue risk, they will demand accountability. This will be in the form of greater transparency around supply chain management, patch management and Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) practices.

4. Increase in attacks targeting Windows XP

Microsoft will end support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This means that newly discovered vulnerabilities will not be patched, leaving systems around the world vulnerable to attacks. According to NetMarketShare, as of September 2013, Windows XP is still used on 31.42% of PCs in the world. According to Gartner, by the time April 8 rolls around, it is estimated that more than 15% of mid- to large-sized enterprises will still have Windows XP running on at least 10 percent of their PCs. Next year, FortiGuard Labs predicts hackers, already in possession of zero day exploits, will wait until the 8th in order to sell them to the highest bidder. Because of their expected high price tag, these zero days will likely be used to launch targeted attacks against high-value businesses and individuals rather than deployed by common cybercriminals in order to propagate mass infections.

5. Biometrics for authentication will increase

This year Apple made a bold move when it announced its new iPhone 5s would integrate fingerprint authentication into the device. Never mind that it was hacked a few days after the phone shipped. It got people talking about the importance two-factor authentication in a world where the single factor password login is growing increasingly archaic. As a result of this renewed interest, FortiGuard Labs predicts next year additional mobile companies will include a second factor of authentication into their devices. It also predicts an increase in additional forms of authentication, such as tattoos and pills, iris scanning and facial recognition.

Comments conditions

Users are solely responsible for their comments.We reserve the right to remove any comment and revoke posting rights for any reason withou prior notice.