Cisco 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 not technology, but people play in creating
opportunities for cybercriminals. The report also includes winners of the 2009
Cisco cybercrime showcase and discusses trends in cloud computing, spam and
overall global cybercrime activities that IT 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 in 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. The annual security report also provides
more information on the potentially devastating combination of minor
vulnerabilities, poor user behavior, and outdated security software that can
dramatically increase risks to network security.
The first-ever Cisco cybercrime showcase acknowledged security professionals
holding the front lines in the fight against cybercrime. Zeus was named the most
audacious criminal operation. A Trojan that delivers malware by targeted
phishing and drive-by downloads, Zeus goes beyond login names and passwords to
steal numerous online banking credentials.
The cybercrime ‘Sign of Hope’ was awarded to ‘The Conficker Working Group’.
This group, composed of members of the security community and industry, is
credited with significantly muting the impact of the network worm conficker,
which was anticipated to wreak havoc starting on April 1, 2009.
Patrick Peterson, Fellow, Cisco remarked, “The blending of social media for
business and pleasure increases the potential for network security troubles and
people, not technology, can often be the source. Without proper cognizance of
security threats, our natural inclination to trust our ‘friends’ can result in
exposing ourselves, home computers and corporate networks to malware. The value
of social media is becoming acknowledged increasingly by businesses, but these
same organizations need to provide the proper training and education to ensure
that employees avoid compromising themselves and their businesses.”
DQC News Bureau