The upcoming new year will see cybercriminals act with even more persistency and sophistication, as the world shifts from the PC-centric desktop toward mobile and cloud computing. The repercussion for IT administrators will be an imperative to approach security with a data-centric framework – protecting the data, not just the systems -- according to Trend Micro’s global network of threat researchers and analysts. The company has just released its “12 Threat Predictions for 2012 ” report that spans four primary areas: Big IT trends, mobile landscape, threat landscape, and data leaks and breaches.
Trend Micro’s “12 Threat Predictions for 2012” include:
The real challenge for data center owners will be the increasing complexities of securing physical, virtual, and cloud-based systems.
While attacks specifically targeting virtual machines (VMs) and cloud computing services remain a possibility, attackers will find no immediate need to resort to these because conventional attacks will remain effective in these new environments. Virtual and cloud  platforms are just as easy to attack but more difficult to protect. The burden will thus fall on IT administrators who will have to secure their company’s critical data as they adopt these technologies.
Security and data breach incidents in 2012 will force companies worldwide to face BYOD-related challenges.
The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Consumerization  Era is here to stay. With more corporate data stored or accessed by devices that are not fully controlled by IT administrators, the likelihood of data loss incidents caused by improperly secured personal devices will rise.
Security vulnerabilities will be found in legitimate mobile apps, making data extraction easier for cybercriminals.
Mobile platform threats usually come in the form of malicious apps, but moving forward, Trend Micro expects cybercriminals to go after legitimate apps, finding vulnerabilities or coding errors that can lead to data exposure or theft.
More hacker groups will pose a bigger threat to organizations that protect highly sensitive data.
Online groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec rose to prominence in 2011, targeting companies and individuals for various political reasons. These groups are likely to become even more motivated in 2012. They will become more skilled both at penetrating organizations and at avoiding detection by IT professionals and law enforcement agencies.
The new social networking generation will redefine “privacy.”
Young social networkers have a different attitude toward protecting and sharing information: They are more likely to reveal personal information online to a wider audience beyond their friends. In time, privacy-conscious people will become the minority—an ideal prospect for attackers.