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2014 Cyber Security Outlook – Internet of Things, Bitcoin, Mobile Payments

The Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), a national non-profit under the aegis of the Center for Internet Security, is out with its 2014 Cyber Security Outlook (pdf available here). The brief highlights that MS-ISAC expect 2014 to highlight security concerns and info sec issues focused around:

(1) The Internet of Things – MS-ISAC observes “Internet-connected devices that are able to process sensitive personal information tend to be high priority targets for cyber criminals. It will become increasingly critical in 2014 to protect these devices from unintended or unauthorized connectivity,” and – coming as no surprise to us here at the SmartedgeLaw Group, but that will raise eyebrows for many,

(2) Bitcoins – Noting “while the long-term use of Bitcoin is uncertain, for at least the near term in 2014, the increasing adoption and publicity will continue to draw the interest of cyber criminals who target Bitcoin users’ wallets for theft, or compromise systems to generate bitcoins via malware infection.”

(3) Mobile Transaction Risks – Again, those who have followed the FTC’s 2013 “Year of Mobile” push, which included a workshop and several reports focused on mobile issues, including one focused on mobile payments (see FTC Staff Report Examines Growing Use of Mobile Payments), will find this risk expected, but MS-ISCA concludes “New features such as Near Field Communications (NFC), as well as AirDrop and Passbook  for  Apple,  will  continue  to  expand  in  2014,  increasing  the  opportunities  for  cyber criminals to exploit weaknesses. NFC and AirDrop allow for similarly configured smartphones to communicate with each other by simply touching another smart phone, or being in proximity to another smartphone. This technology is being used for credit card purchases, boarding passes, and file sharing, and will most likely be incorporated into other uses in 2014. Risks of these technologies could include eavesdropping (through which the cyber criminal can intercept  data  transmission  such  as  credit  card  numbers)  and  transferring  viruses  or other
malware from one NFC/AirDrop-enabled device to another. ”

Stay tuned. 2014 promises to be a busy year.

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Updated: 01/30/2014 — 12:28 pm

The Author

R Santalesa

(p) 203.292.0667 (e) Richard Santalesa is based in Fairfield, Connecticut and New York City.
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