-- Next year, expect a sharp increase in SQL injection attacks on Web sites and an increase in scareware products, which are designed to scare people into buying largely useless products, says Sophos. Expect also to see a continuation in the increase of malicious e-mail attachments and spam both of which saw huge spikes in volume this year, Sophos said.
-- Online criminals looking to improve their odds of success will increasingly start using blended approaches that combine e-mail, Web-based attacks and system intrusions, says Cisco Systems. Botnets will become more versatile and criminals will use them to send spam, host malware or use them in direct attacks against specific targets. With an increase in remote workers and the related use of Web-based tools, mobile devices and virtualization technologies are also bound to cause more security worries for corporations, Cisco noted.
-- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks will continue to grow in magnitude, said Arbor Networks. The largest bandwidth flood attacks this year generated peaks of about 40 gigabits of traffic. Next year, expect to see that number approach 100 gigabits, making it much harder for ISPs to rapidly mitigate such attacks, Arbor said.
-- There will be an increase in attacks on SCADA systems, which control critical infrastructures such as electrical power transmission, VeriSign predicted. The global financial crisis and resulting institutional mergers, consolidations and collapses will provide "unprecedented opportunities" for cybercrooks to seek to exploit in 2009, the company warned.
-- Among the newer threats in the collection of predictions for next year are those targeted against so-called rich Internet application and cloud computing environment according to Websense. As the popularity of RIA grows, there will be a growth in attacks that take advantage of vulnerabilities found with core RIA components and within user-created components to take remote control of end-user systems. Similarly, cloud computing environments will be increasingly used for sending spam or hosting malicious code, Websense noted.
Meanwhile IT managers themselves appeared to have a slightly different take on what the future holds on the security front.
A poll of 825 IT managers conducted by the Ponemon Institute think-tank, conducted on behalf of patch management vendor Lumension Security, showed about half saying that outsourcing was their biggest security concern.
Much of the concern appeared to be driven by the anticipation that companies will be increasing outsourcing of functions involving sensitive and confidential data to third parties, according to the study. Other threats mentioned by the group involved the threat from cybercriminals and security issues stemming from the growing use of mobile devices to store and access sensitive data.
Computerworld is an InfoWorld affiliate.