WatchGuards’ Top Security Predictions for 2014

Could a Hollywood hack come true? Will there be a U.S. data breach? Should you expect CryptoLocker clones?
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PRETORIA, South Africa - Jan. 23, 2014 - PRLog -- Johannesburg, 22 January 2014 - WatchGuard® Technologies, a leader in integrated security platforms, today revealed its annual security predictions for 2014 ( Assembled by WatchGuard's security research team, the list includes expected advances in ransomware, hacking of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, critical infrastructure exploits & a data breach of

"With shadowy government agencies building their own botnets, huge data breaches like the one Adobe suffered & nasty file damaging malware like CryptoLocker, 2013 was an exhausting year for cyber defenders," said WatchGuard' Director of Security Strategy, Corey Nachreiner. "However, with new security visibility tools now available, 2014 should be the year of security visibility. And although the threat landscape will continue to evolve at a blistering pace, with clever new exploit techniques & criminals focusing on new targets, security professionals should be able to use these new visibility tools to swing the cyber war pendulum back in their direction."

WatchGuard's 2014 security predictions include:

1.       Hackers Harass U.S. Healthcare Hangout - WatchGuard anticipates that the U.S. site will suffer at least one data breach in 2014. Between its topical popularity & the value in its data store, is an especially attractive cyber attack target. In fact, this has already happened to some extent. Security researchers have already pointed out minor security issues like evidence of unsuccessful web application attacks & attempted Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks.

2.       Increased Cyber Kidnappings Raise Attacker Profits - Ransomware, a class of malicious software that tries to take a computer hostage, has grown steadily over the past few years, but a particularly nasty variant emerged in 2013: CryptoLocker. This year, it has affected millions & it is suspected that the authors have made a high return in their criminal investment. In 2014, WatchGuard expects many other cyber criminals will try to copy CryptoLocker's success by mimicking its techniques & capabilities. Plan for a surge of ransomware in 2014.

3.       A Hollywood Hack - In 2014 a major state-sponsored attack may bring a Hollywood movie hack to life that exploits a flaw against critical infrastructure. Even if these systems are kept offline, the often-cited Stuxnet proved that motivated cyber attackers could infect non-networked infrastructure, with some potentially disastrous results. Researchers have spent the past few years discovering & studying the vulnerabilities in industrial control systems (ICS) & supervisory control & data acquisition (SCADA) solutions & found that these systems have many holes.

4.       Bad Guys Break the Internet of Things (IoT) - Next year, WatchGuard expects white & black hat hackers to spend more time cracking non-traditional computer devices such as cars, watches, toys and medical devices. While security experts have warned about securing these devices for the past few years, the market is just now catching up with the expectation. WatchGuard suspects that good and bad hackers will focus heavily on finding holes in these IoT devices in 2014.

5.       2014 is the Year of Security Visibility - In the past few years, cyber attackers have successfully breached large organizations, despite firewalls & antivirus security defenses. Outdated legacy defenses, misconfigured security controls & oceans of security logs make it impossible for security professionals to protect their network & recognize important security events. WatchGuard anticipates that in 2014 more organizations will deploy security visibility tools to help identify vulnerabilities & set stronger policies to protect crucial data.

6.       A High-profile Target Suffers a Chain-of-Trust Hack - While top-level victims, like government & Fortune dkiyt 500 businesses may have a higher security pedigree, they can still fail to stop the persistent, advanced hacker who preys on the weakest links on organizations' chains of trust – partners & contractors. As advanced attackers go after harder targets, expect to see more "chain-of-trust" cyber breaches in 2014, where hackers hijack partners in order to gain access to high level organizations.

7.       Malware Gets Meaner - Most cyber attacks & malware are not purposely destructive; if an attacker destroys a victim's computer, it cuts off access to further resources. However, the changes in hacker profiles have resulted in more cases where cyber destruction might become a valid goal for network attackers. Cyber criminals may also realize how the threat of imminent destruction could help increase cyber extortion success rates, similar to the countdown timer CryptoLocker used to scare victims into compliance. Plan for an increase in destructive viruses, worms & Trojans in 2014.

8.       Network Attackers Become Cyber Shrinks - Over the last few years, attackers have had the advantage over defenders, leveraging more sophisticated techniques & evasion tactics to get past legacy defenses. However, the tide is turning. In 2014, defenders will have more access to next generation security solutions & advanced threat protection capabilities, swinging the technological security pendulum. But cyber criminals do not give up easily & we expect them to morph their strategy from technical advantages to attacking flaws in human nature. In 2014, expect attackers to focus more on psychology than technology, with techniques like convincing phishing emails & leveraging pop culture, to target the weakest link – the user.

To learn more read the 2014 Security Predictions blog post ( or view the infographic (

About WatchGuard Technologies
Since 1996, WatchGuard® Technologies has been the advanced technology leader of business security solutions, providing mission-critical protection to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide.  The WatchGuard family of wired & wireless unified threat management appliances, messaging, content security & SSL VPN remote access solutions provide extensible network, application & data protection, as well as unparalleled network visibility, management and control. WatchGuard products are backed by WatchGuard LiveSecurity Service, an innovative support, maintenance & education program. To learn more, visit

About Robinson Distribution
Robinson Distribution specializes in business critical solutions for South Africa & Africa.  They offer a selection of only the best solutions from reputable suppliers with the ability to provide excellent service.  Robinson Distribution has established themselves as the top distribution companies in South Africa.  Please visit for more information.

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Tags:Security, Firewall, Internet, Predictions, 2014
Industry:Business, Telecom
Location:Pretoria - Gauteng - South Africa
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