Thursday, December 10, 2009

Social Media Newest Playground for Cybercriminals

Cisco has issued its Annual Security Report for 2009, which highlights the impact of social media, particularly social networking, on network security and explores the critical role that people, not technology, play in creating opportunities for cybercriminals. The Annual Security Report also includes winners of the 2009 Cisco® Cybercrime Showcase and discusses trends in cloud computing, spam and overall global cybercrime activities that information technology professionals continue to face.

Social media experienced explosive growth in 2009. Facebook alone tripled its active user base to 350 million over the course of the year. Social media adoption is expected to continue growing into 2010, especially as more organizations realize the value of social networks as an absolute business requirement. Social networks have quickly become a playground for cybercriminals because members of these sites put an inordinate amount of trust in the other members of their communities and often fail to take precautions to prevent the spread of malware and computer viruses.

Key Findings

Spam: Social media may be where cybercriminals troll for new victims. However, spam is still a tried-and-true means for tricking people into downloading malware and persuading them to buy, for example, fake pharmaceuticals. The Annual Security Report estimates that in 2010, spam volume will likely rise 30 to 40 percent worldwide over 2009 levels. However, Cisco's own SensorBase data shows that while the U.S. and other economic leader countries (such as those within the European Union) begin to shut down spam zombies in their own countries, the rollout of broadband in developing economies (including India and Vietnam) have made them an increasing source of spam. In fact, the U.S. was toppled as the No. 1 spam sender. In 2009, that distinction went to Brazil.

Cloud Computing: While 10 years ago it would have been unthinkable for businesses to keep sensitive data outside the corporate firewall, today, with the advent of cloud computing and hosted applications, doing so is increasingly common. Many users are so trusting of cloud computing that they do minimal due diligence on who's hosting their sensitive data, and how secure the data is. The Annual Security Report recommends that organizations looking to use externalized services ask providers to explain their data security measures thoroughly.

More information on CRM can be found at

No comments: