In light of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, security experts are warning that cyber attacks could be the biggest area of threat. This news, however, should not come as a major shock, since attacks have been on the rise recently and have even managed to reach organizations such as Sony and Epsilon. This week, the famous "Anonymous" has even gone so far as to launch a new Twitter hijacking tool.
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Dr. Farshid Delgosha, a professor at the New York Institute of Technology, told us that the reason these attacks are becoming more prevalent is a result of the "widespread usage of ubiquitous computing." In other words, consumers are able to access the Internet and complete tasks from nearly anywhere through mobile devices. While mobile developments have brought about an increased level of convenience for consumers, there are still risks involved.
"This makes it easier for attackers to monitor wireless traffic exchange, hack into someone's device, and steal personal data," said Dr. Delgosha.
Another reason he believes cyber attacks have increased is because consumers have become overly confident on the Internet. Social networks are, in part, to blame for this trend since they create a comfortable, fun environment for consumers to share information.
"Individuals are becoming more confident in their online activity because that is where technology is taking us," he said. "We should be cautious."
While mobile and social media are both areas of vulnerability in regards to security, Dr. Delgosha does not think that open platforms pose any real danger. He told us that they could be secure if they are properly designed. On the topic of cloud technology, he was a little more cautious and said that it needs more work and understanding.
Even though technological advances can make it easier for attackers to breach security, Dr. Delgosha was quick to point out that he is not against mobile devices, social media, and other new developments. He does, however, think that people should be aware of the security issues involved and take them seriously.
"Every person, any corporation, no matter what the size is - small or big - they should take security very, very seriously," he said.
"Now, because of the widespread usage of the Internet and the Web and the great deal of information and sensitive information that exists on the Web, definitely that [cyber] is the battleground in the future," said Dr. Delgosha.
In an attempt to bring these issues into the spotlight and protect consumers and businesses, he, along with the entire team at the New York Institute of Technology, are putting on a Cyber Security Conference on September 15. The event hopes to examine and increase awareness of all these security issues.
This past week, Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act of 2011. “The goal of the proposed law is essentially to hold accountable the companies and entities that store personal information and personal data and to deter data breaches,” he is quoted as saying. ”While looking at past data breaches, I’ve been struck with how many are preventable.”
Essentially, businesses would face substantial fines for not complying with a set of guidelines.
We'll continue to monitor the progress on that front, but clearly cyber security is being taken more seriously than ever.
How concerned are you about cyber attacks? Let us know in the comments.