With less than a month remaining before 2014, Panda Security, The Cloud Security Company, today announced, through the PandaLabs blog, its predictions for top security trends to watch for in the coming year. A significant increase in malware creation, along with Java exploits, and social media attacks will be the source of increased security threats over the coming months.

As for corporate information security, new solutions will be released, offering protection levels that ensure data security and integrity much more effectively. “As corporate security attacks become increasingly aggressive, traditional perimeter solutions, though necessary, are no longer sufficient in certain scenarios. New solutions will be available to meet these needs and ensure data security and integrity much more effectively”, said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.  

In the mobile security landscape, Android will continue to be the number one target for cyber-crooks. Additionally, ransomware, along with banking Trojans and bots, are expected to be the most pervasive threats.

Finally, there will be a significant increase in the number of cyber-attacks on all types of devices.

Following is a summary of what PandaLabs predicts as the major security trends of 2014:

  • Malware Creation: Malware creation will hit a new record high in 2014. “Most new malware will be variants of known malware conveniently modified to bypass security products,” explained Corrons.
  • Vulnerabilities: Security holes in Java have been responsible for most infections detected throughout 2013, and this is not likely to change during 2014. The fact that Java is installed on billions of computers and is apparently affected by countless security flaws makes it a favorite target of cyber-criminals. Today, there is no exploit kit on the black market worthy of that name that doesn’t exploit a set of Java vulnerabilities.
  • Social Engineering: Social engineering gives cyber-crooks room to showcase their creativity. After vulnerabilities, the second most frequent cause of computer infections is users themselves, who unknowingly fall into the trap set by cyber-criminals. This trend will continue to rise, and despite many scams will propagate via email, most of them will occur on social networking sites.
  • Mobile Malware: Android will continue to be the number one mobile target for cyber-crooks, and the coming year will set a new record for the number of threats targeting this platform.
  • Ransomware: In addition to banking Trojans and bots, ransomware will be one of the most pervasive threats in 2014. There will be new waves of malware asking victims to pay a  ransom to unlock their computers, access their files (CryptoLocker), remove supposed threats (fake antivirus software), or even pay a ‘fine’ for supposed illegal activities (Police Virus). Ransomware allows criminals to obtain money directly from users, and so it can be expected to soar and extend to other types of devices, like smartphones.
  • Corporate Security: As malware attacks become increasingly aggressive (as shown by CryptoLocker) and the number of targeted attacks suffered by companies continues to rise, there will be a demand for extra-tight security measures that go beyond the protection provided by “traditional” antivirus solutions.
  • Internet of Things: The number of objects and devices connected to the Internet is ever-increasing, and will continue to do so. IP cameras, TVs, multimedia players, etc. are now an integral part of the Internet, and often share a characteristic that sets them apart from other devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets: Users rarely update them. As a result, they are extremely vulnerable to security flaw exploits, and so in the future we are very likely to see attacks that target these devices as well.