Applications will come under increasing attack from hackers in 2005, according to IT consultants at Unisys.
Whereas most attacks are currently made against operating systems or browsers, Unisys believes that applications are the next target as they are just as vulnerable but are not as high on IT managers' agendas for patching.
The company expects so-called 'lemon laws' to spring out of such attacks, as customers seek legal redress for faulty software.
"In 2005 we will see security challenges with significant business impact - legal, economic and technological," said Unisys chief security advisor Sunil Misra in his end of year report.
"Enterprises will find themselves challenged as never before to make focused, strategic and pervasive investments in security. But those investments will be necessary for any organisation."
The company also forecasts that next year the mobile arena will become the focus for virus writers, and that hackers will increasingly group together to carry out co-ordinated attacks.
As phones become more capable and connected using a variety of radio technologies, they become more vulnerable to attacks seeking to steal personal data, Unisys warned.
The company also pointed to the increasing danger posed by a new generation of hackers motivated by economic gain who will not hesitate to cause major damage to systems if their demands are not met.
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