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Emerging Computer Security Issues

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Issue: 
Spring 2013

Aaron Stephenson (NTL)

Cisco has released their annual security report, which touches on a number of different topics. Of particular interest to information managers is the topic on users having multiple devices to access cloud services. Because of this new paradigm, data center traffic is expected to quadruple in next 4 years. Along with the increase in the number of devices and network connections comes an increase in the number of available attack vectors.

Another highlight from the report include is the changing nature of malware and spam. No longer do they originate from "suspect" sites that can be easliy blacklisted; instead, more and more they come from third party advertisements shown on legitimate mainstream websites, and through malicious links in email messages that spoof major brand names.

Traditional methods of securing endpoints and network perimeters will no longer be sufficient to guard against attack:

"attackers have become increasingly more sophisticated, going after the sites, tools, and applications that are least likely to be suspected, and users visit most frequently. Modern threats are capable of infecting mass audiences silently and effectively, not discriminating by industry, business, size or country. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the rapidly expanding attack surface found in today’s “any-to-any” world, where individuals are using any device to access their business network. As critical national infrastructure, businesses, and global financial markets continue their move to cloud-based services and mobile connectivity, an integrated, layered approach to security is needed"

The report can be downloaded for free at Cisco's website:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/vpndevc/annual_security_report.html