2010 Security Outlook: Reply Hazy, Try Again

Security researchers, experts don't show much agreement on the coming year's threats
6. Despite the hype of increased social networking threats, misconfigured "stuff" -- e.g., servers, firewalls, and laptops -- will be the real threat for companies to watch out for. This is another prediction that goes against the tide: The other 99 percent of predictors say social networking will be among the chief threats of 2010. (Tripwire)

7. It is unlikely that 2010 will see widespread targeting of cellphones by malware because the mobile operating systems are too disparate for them to be a lucrative effort for cybercriminals. This is an insightful statement that runs contrary to the many knee-jerk predictions that smartphones will be among the top targets for 2010. (PandaLabs)

8. ISPs will increasingly implement technologies to identify users who are infected with malware and take steps to block Internet access until the users' machines are cleaned up. It will probably be a few years before these ISPs are the norm, rather than the exception, but the prevalence of such practices will increase. (ESET)

9. The Windows 7 operating system, while built to be more secure than Vista, will inevitably be riddled with exploitable vulnerabilities. The widespread adoption of Win 7 naturally makes it a key target for malicious threats, like viruses, bots, and worms. (ICSA Labs)

10. Windows 7 will have some issues, but will prove more secure than forecast by the security industry. While the Redmond PR folks pitch Win 7 as a brand new OS, a survey of the code indicates it is mostly a rework of Vista. "Rework" is the key word here, and initial analysis shows many of the bugs that exist in Vista are absent from Win 7. (Accuvant)

If those last two predictions seem contradictory, you should see the rest of the predictions we received. We may be asking some of these pundits for security advice in the coming year, but trust us, we won't be asking them to pick any lottery numbers. Maybe it's time to put away the crystal balls for another year and focus on fighting the threats we already know about.

Whatever awaits, we at Dark Reading wish you a happy -- and secure --new year.

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