According to Gartner, sales of smartphones were expected to exceed 461 million by the end of 2011, surpassing PC shipments in the process. This explosion has captured cyber criminals’ attention and as a result, 2011 saw significant real growth in the amount of mobile malware. From malware simply seeking to embarrass victims to exploiting premium-rate billing, to malware focused on information theft, it’s undeniable that 2011 was the first year mobile malware presented a true threat to enterprises and consumers.
In addition, despite 2011 being a year of external hacks, CISOs have already begun to shift their focus on insiders once again because of the proliferation of mobile devices. Tablets in particular have become a major concern as employees are bringing them into corporate infrastructures at a rate that outpaces many organization’s ability to secure and manage them and protect the information the employees can access via the tablets. With tablets in hand, the concern has become insiders that fly under the radar of IT to access and send sensitive data, and in the case of the malicious insider, steal highly confidential intellectual property.
For many, 2011 will be recalled as the year of the data breach as companies of all sizes made headlines for losing valuable data. Small businesses were no exception as cyber criminals found SMBs as a new favorite target. Looking forward, the threat landscape won’t be getting any better but Symantec foresees 2012 as a year of action for businesses where they’ll start taking tangible steps to protect their businesses from the threats they face.