Holiday fear mongering! Will Anyone Survive 2010?

Since my previous blog post I read a ridiculous number of security projections for 2010. These range from catastrophic scenarios to something much, much worse. To these I say, bah humbug!

It seems that Christmas is the time of year when many security professionals find it acceptable to drop their responsible approach to informing the world about emerging trends in favour of much more alarmist ways to spread the word about their worst nightmares.

To wit, the top 10 security trends of 2010, not quite unlike those of 2009 and previous years, involve:

1. Fear this! An explosion of spam. Spam! I tell you!!

2. The infiltration of smartphones by malicious worms… and things.

3. The abuse of social networks by enemies of privacy

4. The theft of financial data through ATMs, broken digital certificates, faulty SSL and the infected workstations of bank employees

5. Star Wars scenarios against national security involving governments, hackers, utilities and denials of service

6. The hijacking of search engines to enhance security exploits and malware proliferation

7. Increasingly effective database and application breaches mean we can no longer trust passwords, CAPTCHA, SSL, or even ourselves!

8. Skyrocketing attacks on everything connected to networks, including other networks

9. Rogue anti-malware products! Don’t trust the anti-virus software, the virus software or the software in general

10. And for Pete’s sake, don’t open that email! It could be a phishing attempt! Either that or an assault on common sense.

I’m not even going to mention wifi insecurity and attacks against laptops, portables, notebooks, netbooks, palmpads, etc.

And the media adores this kind of stuff! It’s again, the only time of year when no one has to refer to statistics, mostly because they’re nowhere in sight, but also because checking facts takes time. And that might cut into precious fear mongering time.

Indeed, if you add it all up, this pretty much covers everything there is. There’s no safety or security to be found in 2010. Everything should be feared and we should all brace ourselves for the next attack. And the one after that. If that’s the case, I say we simply skip 2010 and go directly to 2011.

Season’s greetings everyone!

P.S. It’s best to unplug that Internet-aware toaster when not in use, it might otherwise get hacked just as you’re performing the latest updates to its firewall. You do have a firewall for it, don’t you?

About the author:
Claudiu Popa, CISSP, PMP, CISA, CIPP is one of Canada’s busiest information security consultants. As Chief Security Officer of Informatica Corporation ( Claudiu helps Canadian small businesses protect information assets against current security threats including viruses, hackers, thieves and blackouts. He is the author of the Canadian Privacy and Data Security Toolkit for SME, published by the CICA. Write to or better yet, submit your comments to this blog
Claudiu Popa
Claudiu Popa
Claudiu Popa is a security and privacy advisor to Canadian enterprises, associations and agencies. He is an author, speaker and lecturer. Connect with him on Twitter @datarisk, Facebook, G+ or LinkedIn.

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