Just a week into the new year and Gartner’s prediction that information security spending will reach $93 billion in 2018 seems perhaps a big understatement. Even before the end of the 2017, many security experts suggested the number was on the low side of conservative. And that came before the report of a massive vulnerability to microprocessors with Spectre and Meltdown. Regardless of where the number ends up, with headlines like this one from CNN on January 5, 2018 – “The security of pretty much every computer on the planet has just gotten a lot worse” – makes a number over $100 billion seem more plausible. But, for the purposes of this blog we’ll use the $93 billion figure.
A Personal Perspective on Security Resolutions for 2018
It was our original intent to put together a brief recap of the year in cyberattacks, breaches and exploits. But “brief” hardly seemed possible when we started digging in. Mexican journalist attacks, BlueBorn, KRACK, Broadcom WiFi chip bugs, WannaCry, Loapi, the Equifax hack and all the other DDoS, MITM, malware, ransomware, spearphishing and spoofing attacks made the list, but these are just starters.
You either know somebody or it has happened to you – you have a conversation around your smartphone, check your social media or news feed, and boom, the topics of your conversation are being advertised on your smartphone. Most people’s reaction is usually some combination of “WTF?!?” and “Is my phone really listening in on me?” This isn’t new news, but mobile espionage (the modern catch phrase for smartphones listening, watching and tracking your every movement without you knowing) is certainly getting discussed a lot more, and on many levels.
This Sunday, December 10th, 2017 marks the 69th anniversary of the United Nation's Human Rights Day and kicks off a year of commemorations, looking back to recognize the sacrifices of those who have led the way to the freedoms and rights people now enjoy around the world. Those who protested, picketed, marched and stood in line for days to vote. Those who litigated and negotiated. And those who were persecuted, imprisoned and killed.
Preparing for a business trip – international or domestic – used to be a fairly routine ritual. Not anymore. Carrying those electronic essentials poses new threats to personal and enterprise security that savvy travelers must be aware of.
You can now add Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) to the growing list of government officials and entities urging national security advisors to provide a higher level of security for government smartphones.
Recent news reports, covering two separate incidents, confirm a conclusion we continue to draw attention to when talking with security professionals, our customers and anyone concerned about their mobile security posture: Smartphones are inherently vulnerable, and little – to date – can be done to protect, detect, and remediate the compromises. Without full view into the ecosystem of the phone, software solutions alone will never be enough to safeguard the important information of users and protect their privacy.