Typically, victims of a computer infection don’t realize their machines are “sick” until it’s already too late. For instance, on Oct. 3, 2012, 53 universities experienced unauthorized access to their networks. The group of hacktivists that took responsibility for the attack acknowledged, “When we got there, we found most university servers already had malware injected.” Clearly, you can’t wait until an attack has happened to shore up your systems. Instead, we suggest working with an IT consultant to protect your system against the upcoming IT security threats in 2013, as outlined below.
1. Mobile devices will be included in cross-platform attacks. As more and more workers rely on BYOD to do their work, hackers will be more attracted to mobile devices. From Android to Mac operating systems, all platforms will be at risk. Mobile app stores, for instance, will become hacking targets and may unwittingly pass on viruses to their customers. An IT consultant can assist you in creating BYOD protocols and installing mobile protection systems.
2. Expect attacks on virtual systems. Just as Deepthroat advised Woodward and Bernstein to “follow the money” in All the President’s Men, wise IT security experts will advise their clients to “follow the IT trends” in predicting security threats. With more companies using virtualization for servers, sandboxing and applications, it makes perfect sense that hackers would aim more attacks toward virtual machines. Lead I.T., your Portland IT consulting firm, can help your company maintain secure virtual environments going into 2013.
3. Cybercriminals will go on manipulating legitimate web platforms. Content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress will continue to be attractive hacking targets in 2013. Because those who administer these web-based systems often fail to update security patches, cyber criminals see content management systems as easy targets. By taking advantage of weaknesses in CMS platforms, hackers can force your company website to host malware or even a fake anti-virus page. To prevent an attack on your site, bring your IT consultant in for advice.
One last surprising prediction for 2013: Email malware attacks will be on the rise. Therefore, it’s important to educate workers about the importance of not downloading any questionable email attachments.
For all of these upcoming threats, and for those that we can’t yet predict, an IT consultant is a powerful form of protection to have on your side. Don’t wait for an attack to cause irreparable damage – instead, arrange for an IT consulting firm to conduct an audit of your security setup before 2013 rolls around.