Swing from Windows brings security threats


Image: By BizTechAfrica
Swing from Windows brings security threats

IT security firm Kaspersky Lab says a proliferation of new operating systems will present new IT security risks for the rest of the decade, and privacy protection will become a key issue.

Kaspersky Lab this week released its forecast for the IT threat landscape for the period 2011-2020.

According to the company’ s analysts, the most significant trends of the last ten years (2001-2010) were:

  •         Mobility and miniaturization. Smaller and smaller devices can now access the Internet from virtually any point on the globe. 
  •         The transformation of virus writing into cybercrime.
  •         Windows maintaining its leading position as a vendor of operating systems for personal computers.
  •         Intense competition in the mobile platform market with no clear-cut leader.
  •         Social networks and search engines – the primary services of today’ s Internet.
  •         Internet shopping – this sector already generates revenues that dwarf the annual budgets of some countries.

It says the defining feature of the next decade will be the end of Windows’ domination of user operating systems.

“ Though Microsoft’ s brainchild will remain the primary business platform, everyday users will have access to an ever-expanding variety of alternative operating systems. Notably, even now the number of devices accessing the Internet via Windows and non-Windows platforms are almost the same, with the latter even occasionally exceeding their Microsoft counterparts.”

It says the growing number of new operating systems will affect the process of threat creation: cybercriminals will not be able to create malicious code for large numbers of platforms.

This leaves them with two options: either target multiple operating systems and have many individual devices under their control, or specialize in Windows-based attacks on corporations. The second variant will probably appeal to them more – by 2020, targeting individual users will become much more complex because the emerging trend of making payments electronically and using online banking will continue, but biometric user identification and payment protection systems will become the norm.

The coming changes in operating systems and their specifications will affect virus writing techniques as these new systems evolve. Many cybercriminals who used to target Windows devices will have to become adept at exploiting the new-generation operating systems. To retain their ‘ place in the sun’ , today’ s cybercriminal will need to enlist the help of members of the younger generation who are capable of writing malicious code for the new platforms. However, this state of the affairs cannot prevail forever and we may well see ‘ turf wars’ between different hackers and hacker groups.

Kaspersky Lab says cybercrime in 2020 will almost assuredly divide into two groups. One group will specialize in attacks on businesses, sometimes to-order. Commercial espionage, database theft and corporate reputation-smearing attacks will be much in demand on the black market. Hackers and corporate IT specialists will confront each other on the virtual battlefield. State anti-cybercrime agencies will probably be involved in the process too and will have to deal predominantly with Windows platforms, in addition to the latest versions of traditional *nix systems.

The second group of cybercriminals will target those things that influence our everyday lives, such as transport systems and other services. Hacking such systems and stealing from them, making free use of them and the removal and changing of personal data about customers’ activities will be the main focus of attention of the new generation of hackers, who will make a living this way.

It also predicts that botnets, one of today’ s most potent IT threats, will evolve dramatically. They will incorporate more and more mobile and Internet-enabled devices, and zombie computers as we know them will become a thing of the past.

The tools and technologies used in the field of communications will undergo massive change. These changes will see greatly increased data transfer rates and enhancements that will make the virtual communication experience much closer to that of real-life: by 2020, communication via the Internet with the help of a keyboard will be the stuff of old movies, meaning spammers will need to seek out new ways of delivering their unwanted correspondence to addressees across the globe. The first step the spammers will take is to change from targeting desktops to mobile devices. The volume of mobile spam will grow exponentially, while the cost of Internet-based communications will shrink due to the intensive development of cellular communication systems. As a result, users will be less likely to worry about unwanted advertising material.

Kaspersky Lab concludes: “ The old adage ‘ Knowledge is power’ will be more relevant than ever before. The struggle for the means to collect, manage, store and use information, about everything and everybody, will define the nature of threats for the next decade. Therefore the problem of privacy protection will be one of the key issues of the decade.”

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Survey: 98 days to identify advanced cyber threats

A Ponemon Institute survey has found the average time span for financial services to identify an attack inside the network is 98 days. Read More

Corporations, others to up security spend by 25%

The app economy demands a new approach to security, says a recent study. Read More

P@$$wORD_1: How secure is your password?

With organisations being blamed for loopholes that give hackers access to information, companies are increasingly looking at how to better protect their users’ passwords.   Read More

Botswana urged to rethink cyber security threats

The founder of the African Cyber Risk Institute (ACRI) says now is the time for Botswana to create a national cyber risk agenda. Read More

Reducing the cyber attack surface

The cyber attack surface is much greater than just the business perimeter, says Intact Software Distribution. Read More

Kaspersky Lab: Businesses report losing up to half a million US dollars due to a security breach

A worldwide survey by Kaspersky Lab in cooperation with B2B International showed that the most expensive types of security breaches are employee fraud, cyber espionage, network intrusion and the failure of third party suppliers.  Read More

Cyber security gets topical during ICT pitso

Delegates at Botswana's annual ICT Pitso in Gaborone have agreed there is a need to develop Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Strategies, create cybersecurity awareness and build capacity to address cybercrime. Read More

Frost & Sullivan honours DERMALOG with biometrics prize

Frost & Sullivan has awarded Germany’s largest biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG and its customized solutions and products for Africa with the 2015 African Biometrics Company of the Year Award. Read More

Chams urges insurers to embrace IT to grow business

Indigenous IT firm Chams Plc has urged Chief Executive Officers of risk-bearing companies struggling to make appreciable inroads into the rural communities of Nigeria to look in the direction of deploying IT tools. Read More

2nd Cyber conference set for October

The African Cyber Risk Institute (ACRI) will host its 2nd Annual African Cyber Conference on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Cresta Lodge Hotel in Gaborone.  Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika


Connectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chiefConnectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chief

Connectivity is vital for any country to fully optimise the huge potential of cyberspace, SES Sales Manager for West Africa Joy Nma Emenike tells Kokumo Goodie.


High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.