Four months in and 2014 has already become a serious headache for security and IT professionals across the world, with key incidents and developments in the cyber world leaving firms more vulnerable than ever to cyber attacks.
Key trends include Microsoft's official end of Windows XP support, fresh revelations about the US National Security Agency's PRISM activities and a newly discovered critical flaw in the OpenSSL encryption service, codenamed Heartbleed.
Add to this the ongoing high cost, both from a financial and reputation perspective, a successful cyber attack can inflict on a business and it's easy to understand why many people are now more concerned than ever about security.
But, given the sea of doomsday announcements flooding the headlines, knowing what cyber threats you should be most concerned about can be tricky. So we've created a definitive list of the 10 biggest threats and security issues you should be aware of and prepared to mitigate.
10. Script kiddies and hacktivists
Hacktivist groups have been a constant issue facing businesses of all sizes. Carrying a zealous desire to "punish" or "shame" any business, individual or group they feel has wronged them or gone against their political ideals, hacktivists have proven surprisingly effective over the last year.
Using basic distributed denial of service or SQL injection tactics, groups such as the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), have successfully attacked numerous big-name institutions, including The New York Times and Microsoft.
While the wider implications of the attacks are limited – amounting to little more than websites being knocked offline or defaced for a few hours – these groups' success is proof that many businesses still aren't getting the basics right when it comes to cyber security. But this is something they can no longer afford to do in today's volatile threat landscape.
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