2014 has been a busy year for white hats. We've seen everything from malicious targeted attacks hitting critical infrastructure, horrifying flaws in the open-source projects powering most of the internet and the first recorded case of iOS malware.
Kaspersky has been a central player in combating this army of nightmarish threats and has justifiably been shortlisted for Best SMB Security Product, Best Business Security Provider and Technology Project of the Year in the V3 Technology Awards 2014.
V3 spoke to Kaspersky Lab managing director Kirill Slavin to learn the secret of the firm's success and get an insight into its future plans.
V3: How do you feel being shortlisted for this year's V3 Awards?
Slavin: Our malware discoveries and ongoing research is all part of our ultimate aim to make the online world a safer place, so it's great to see V3 readers recognising the team's hard work. We have had a very successful year, and look forward to continuing this success into 2015.
We will not stop until cyber space is a safer place for consumers and businesses alike and our second-to-none research is what drives this quest.
It is an honour to be recognised as a leader in our field in the prestigious V3 Technology Awards and we want to thank everyone who has put us in the shortlist and voted for us.
What are the biggest trends that have occurred this year?
We have continued to see an exponential growth in malware targeting mobile devices, as smartphones and tablets become a core feature of our personal and business lives. Staff now need to stay connected on the move and connect to company infrastructure on personal devices, causing greater concern to businesses.
Wider use of electronic payment mechanisms - NFC, for example - is also leading cyber criminals to explore the possibilities of undermining these systems for their own benefit.
The rise in the Internet of Things has also been a massive focus this year. As everything in the home becomes connected, there are more avenues for cyber criminals to access personal information, which means our teams have to come up with solutions to help prevent this and to educate consumers.
What are the biggest concerns and challenges for firms and IT managers?
One of the biggest challenges for companies is communicating IT security issues to all staff. It is vital to make sure all staff are educated on security policies. Time and time again attacks start by tricking people into doing something that jeopardises corporate security.
Business practices have also changed significantly in recent years, not least as a result of developments in mobile technologies and the more widespread use of cloud storage systems.
Staff are 'always-on', working from a variety of locations beyond the traditional workplace, whether home, hotels, airports or cafes. They also use multiple devices.
This has brought huge benefits to businesses in terms of increased staff productivity. But it also offers a wider attack surface to cyber criminals, as well as introducing new types of threat.
What do you think the biggest security trends will be in 2015?
We can expect targeted attacks to continue to be a central part of the threat landscape in 2015. Mobile malware will also continue to grow exponentially and develop in sophistication, particularly with financial malware in mind.
We'll also continue to see tensions surrounding privacy and security, as well as more attacks on ATMs, like Tyupkin, unless banks take steps to secure them.
Cyber criminals will also continue to explore ways to undermine e-payment methods, for example Bitcoin and NFC, as the adoption of such services continues to increase.
What are your plans for 2015?
We will continue to closely monitor the activities of cyber criminals and develop technologies to protect our customers.
With security around the Internet of Things becoming an increasing danger, we plan to continue to educate consumers and businesses on how best to protect against the growing threat to connected devices.
We also want to provide enterprises with the tools and knowledge they need to prepare for the increasing risk of cyber attacks. This means helping them to manage security across the organisation, to prevent such attacks where possible and to mitigate the risks should the worst happen.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago