McAfee Labs Top Security Threat Predictions for 2014

08 January 2014

The constantly evolving world of cybercrime rapidly brings new security threats and challenges to consumers, financial institutions, and business leaders. The McAfee Labs team continuously tracks current IT security threats, and at the start of a new year forecasts the threat landscape for the year ahead.

In 2014, McAfee Labs expects to see the rapidly growing mobile platform draw the lion’s share of threat innovation. Ransomware is expected to proliferate on mobile devices, as virtual currencies such as Bitcoin fuel the growth of ransomware across all platforms. Attacks using advanced evasion techniques will come of age, with enhanced capabilities to identify and bypass some sandboxing and other local security measures. Social platforms will be used more aggressively to target the finances and personal information of consumers, and the intellectual properties and trade secrets of business leaders. To ensure big data security and keep hackers at a distance, advanced threat-reputation services and analytics tools will start to offer more advanced technologies.

McAfee Labs researchers expect to see the following trends in 2014:

  • Mobile malware will dominate the greater malware realm with a heavy-handed emphasis on technical advancement that will drive the volume of attacks to new highs.
  • The rising popularity of unregulated virtual currencies such as Bitcoin will cause cybercriminals to launch malicious ransomware attacks on a worldwide scale.
  • Cybercriminals will have access to advanced evasion techniques that target public and private sectors, making it increasingly difficult to identify and stop their attacks.
  • Attacks on social media platforms will not only put users’ private information at risk, but social media breaches will become nearly ubiquitous by the end of the year.
  • New attacks on PCs and servers will allow criminals to breach vulnerabilities both above and below the operating system.
  • Data stored in cloud-based applications will continue to be a favored target for cybercriminals and possibly put big data at a great risk. The small business sector will most likely witness the bulk of these attacks.

Read the full McAfee Labs 2014 Threat Predictions report here.

Infographic: McAfee Labs 2014 Threat Predictions report