4 Things to Consider as You Make Your Security Resolutions

While dropping the ball in Times Square signifies an “out with the old, in with the new” beginning for most, it may not be for security professionals who must deal with the many cyber threats piggy-backing their way into 2014 — adding to the number of new data breaches expected to increase this year. Moving forward, the message is clear: Don’t drop the cyber security ball, even for a second.

So, as you make your security resolutions for 2014, consider the impact these four trends can have on your ability to protect your data and your organization:

Mobility and BYOD challenges increase.

At one time, you weren’t even able to use your own personal device to access work-related emails, unless the IT shop set you up. Now, people configure their own devices to access corporate data and download applications unblessed by IT, and often on devices without sufficient anti-virus or anti-malware protection.

As mobile device popularity and risk exposure escalates in 2014, mobile endpoint security won’t be enough. You’ll need a multi-layered security approach for protection against viruses, denial of service attacks, and data breaches.

Advanced persistent threats on the rise.

While a denial of service event may bring your website down for an hour or two, the impact of advanced persistent threats (APTs) can last for months or years. Far more malicious in intent, they can enter your environment through a seemingly innocent phishing email and install spyware that collects and sends stolen corporate or customer data to attackers.

APTs will continue to be a threat in 2014 because they are increasing in number, complexity, and their ability to do their work undetected. An Advanced Persistent Threat and Analysis Service can help you identify threats and take action to reduce your exposure.

Perimeter security gives way to rings around things.

At one time, you could draw a circle around the assets you wanted to protect and strategically place security devices along the rim. Now, the notion of perimeter defense is going away because attackers are breaking through these barriers with more frequency and ease. The popularity of cloud and mobile devices also means your data can be stored nearly anywhere — making it nearly impossible to draw a protective perimeter around it.

In 2014, cyber security will be more about putting protective rings around individual things: Rings of security around assets, such as devices or cloud resources, with the flexibility to apply the right security levels to the right assets.

Small business emerges as a new target.

Small businesses are fast becoming a preferred target, because even the local pizza shop may store credit card information on hundreds of customers. Many don’t invest in security, so threats can go unnoticed. Mobile device protection, secure connectivity and on-going vulnerability scanning will be even more important, since small business employees use personal devices for work even more than corporate users.

In future weeks, we’ll be delving into these trends at a deeper level, so come back and visit us — and feel free to share your own security challenges for 2014.


Andy Daudelin Vice President of Cloud AT&T About Andy