Georgia Tech Information Security Center Releases Cyber Threats Forecast for 2011

October 6, 2010

The Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), a
national leader in information security research and education, today announced
the release of the GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2011, outlining the
top three areas of security risk and concern for consumer and business Internet
and computer users. The report was released today at the annual GTISC Security
Summit on the Evolving Nature of Cyber Security Threats. The summit gathers
leading industry and academic leaders who have distinguished themselves in the
field of cyber security.

According to the report, an increase in the number of mobile
and networked devices provides an enticing target for cyber criminals to steal
data and thwart the functioning of systems in a variety of venues from
hospitals to utility providers.

For 2011, GTISC is forecasting three key cyber security
areas where threats are expected to increase and evolve:

  • Cyber Threats Targeting Physical Systems: As
    infrastructure services such as electric grid and utilities become networked
    and connect to the Internet, they will face greater risk of disruption and
    misuse. In addition, cyber attack is also a growing risk for healthcare systems
    as more medical offices and hospitals become connected. What’s more, the speed
    of updating the security of devices in these environments may be hampered as
    devices involved with such systems may be subject to regulatory guidelines.
  • Botnets: Specifically large-scale attacks that
    utilize more targeted malware to evade detection; in addition cyber criminals
    are now making more efficient use of malicious software and have been
    re-launching previously thwarted attacks.
  • Mobile Devices and Social Networking: As more
    open mobile device platforms grow in popularity and more applications become
    available, these devices will become more attractive targets of attacks. In
    addition, cyber criminals are using Twitter and Facebook accounts to lure users
    into handing over personal and sensitive information.

“We have to move away from the reactive mode of addressing
cyber security threats and must proactively work to understand new threats and
develop effective ways to contain them,” said Mustaque Ahamad, director of
GTISC. “We are doing this for several of the key threats outlined in the
Emerging Threats report and we look forward to working with our partners to
build a more secure cyber space.”

More than 400 corporate and industry leaders,
technologists and cyber security experts from across the country are expected
to attend the GTISC Security Summit on the Evolving Nature of Cyber Security
Threats. The keynote will de delivered by Ken Silva, senior vice president and
chief technology officer of VeriSign. Following the address, panelists will
commence a discussion and debate moderated by Rich DeMillo, distinguished
professor and former dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. Panelists
include: Paul Judge, chief scientist at Barracuda Networks; Chris Rouland,
chief executive officer of Endgame Systems; David Aucsmith, senior director of the
Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments; Greg Conti, U.S.
Military Academy at West Point; David Dagon, post-doctoral fellow at Georgia
Tech; Marc Sachs, executive director of National Security and Cyber Policy at
Verizon; and Val Rahmani, chief executive officer of Damballa.

To obtain a copy of the report, either download the file on this page or go to to download the report.