Will 2012 Be the Year of Better Cybersecurity?

Sue Marquette Poremba
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Emerging Cyber Threats for 2012

As we approach 2012, we've seen plenty of predictions on what types of security threats to expect in the coming months. If the predictions are correct, expect your mobile device to be under attack, no matter which OS you use. You can be sure that cyber criminals will use the upcoming elections and the London Summer Olympics to spread malware and to try to steal information.

But here is some news that shows that perhaps 2012 will be the year that we increase our business efforts to promote cybersecurity. Analyst company Canalys predicts enterprise security software investments will increase next year, and antivirus software will be a primary area of growth. According to Computerworld:

Although antivirus software has been assailed for not keeping up with emerging threats, it will be one of the sources of growth because it is still considered a required base level of security. That segment is expected to grow 6.8% year-on-year.

In its report, Canalys said SMBs tend to focus less on security than larger firms do. My colleague Paul Mah explained why:

The most common mistakes made by small businesses are well, thinking that they are too small a target for hackers to notice. Indeed, a recent poll conducted by Symantec revealed the surprising fact that many SMBs do not see themselves as possible targets of cyber attacks.

This is a mistaken assumption, of course, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is employee mistakes. As Jeff Schmidt pointed out in a blog post, the human element is the weakest link in cybersecurity. He goes on to say that even the most high-profile attacks were started with targeted phishing and an employee making a mistake. If it can happen in large corporations, it will happen just as easily in small businesses.


So the predictions that companies are expected to spend more money and more effort on security are a definite step in the right direction. There is also especially good news for smaller security vendors that, Canalys said, will see a growth in their businesses. (Full disclosure: Many of the small vendors mentioned by Canalys regularly reach out to me as sources for this blog.)

Couple this news with the increasing efforts by government to battle cyber attacks and cyber crime, and 2012 is indeed looking to be the year of cybersecurity.

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