Top 2012 Predictions

Happy New Year’s Everyone!  Here are my top 5 network security predictions for next year:

1) More Hacktivist events: Anonymous moved from online to meatspace with their  Occupy political events. While Anonymous may lose their luster throughout 2012, expect more online and offline gestures from hacktivists using data theft, DDoS, and website defacement as ways to embarrass governments and private corporations alike.
2) More hacks on industrial equipment: In 2011 we saw Stuxnet and Duqu take aim at industrial equipment via hacks into control software systems. Expect greater volume of attempts on control systems, be it for political espionage or generic nefarious misconduct.
3) Continued rise in popularity of hacking: We have seen a growing trend of hackers using social media to trade secrets, tools, and sell stolen or illegal data to each other. This will continue to help popularize and glamorize hacking as tools get more sophisticated.  Expect more formalization of hacking marketplaces (want to buy a busy signal?) to provide a catelog of tools at anyone’s disposal.
4) More spending on network security products: In response to many of this year’s events, we will see spending on network security products continue to rise. However, data breaches will also continue to grow. Many customers will purchase point security products without setting or understanding a greater security strategy that as a result will leave holes and vulnerabilities open.  Others will outsource their security needs by seeking help from managed security service providers fostering a large growth area.
5) Network security ingrained in the Military Industrial Complex: If anything, 2011 may be known as a turning point when hacking, data theft, espionage, and sabotage moved to cyberspace in as official a capacity as you can have in spy games. In 2012, we will see nations using both defensive and offensive mechanisms in announced campaigns and treaties and allocate additional resources to fund these programs.

I hope that everyone has a great and safe 2012!

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