In the previous blog post, we talked about the first half of Microsoft’s top 8 cybersecurity predictions for 2014, which include:
- More detailed discussions about security based on harmonization through government regulatory action;
- Continued interruption of some online services;
- A spike in cybercriminal activity because of the World Cup; and
- A rise in regional cloud services.
Now let’s move onto the last four Microsoft predictions for this year so that you can be prepared for the biggest cybersecurity threats that may be coming your way.
Prediction #5 – With more and more organizations embracing secure development platforms, and IT management becoming increasingly “security-centric” in their operations, hackers and attackers will likely try to take advantage of weaknesses between development and operations. Dev-Ops security is now a necessary protective measure, and this year that trend will be an obstacle for potential cybercriminals, according to Mike Reavey, General Manager of Operational Security Assurance at Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing.
Prediction #6 – Further cyber threats are expected to be targeted at unsupported and out-of-date software, where breaking into the system is easier. Windows XP users, specifically, will no longer be receiving security updates as of April 8, 2014, and many organizations will be compromised unless they update their system. Migrating from Windows XP to a modern operating system like Windows 7 or Windows 8, before April, is the best way to avoid being at-risk, says Director of Trustworthy Computing Tim Rains.
Prediction #7 – Chris Betz, a senior director at the Microsoft Security Response Center, predicts that as businesses and organizations move away from legacy systems, or restrict those systems to non-Internet-facing roles, more cybercriminals will make use of social engineering and weak passwords to gain access to systems. These techniques are some of the oldest tricks of the trade for hackers, but they are still in use today, says Betz.
Prediction #8 – Lastly, Microsoft predicts that ransomware will impact more people. Although smaller than other types of malware, ransomware infections have been on the rise in recent years and with much success. “Now is the time for organizations to plan mitigations for ransomware. Besides running up-to-date anti-malware software from a vendor you trust, backups are extremely important,” Tracey Pretorius of Trustworthy Computing said. “Leveraging the cloud to do this is a low cost option.”
In conclusion, Microsoft expects significant shifts in the type of cybersecurity threats that we saw last year, but by keeping all your software up-to-date, running anti-malware software from a trusted source, and using a secure development platform, you can mitigate the risks and continue to employ the best practices for maintaining your organization’s security in 2014.
Do you have cybersecurity concerns? Then let one of our Microsoft-certified developers evaluate your business and help you reach your goals. Getting started with IT security consultants at Innovative Architects is easy. Just pick up the phone and call us at (770) 623-5734, or send an email to tell us about your project.