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Scariest Security Threats Headed Your Way: Special Report


What keeps security experts up at night?

“We still have a very fragile international financial system, and we know that ... [Electric] power is fragile ... Even food delivery is fragile from the cyber perspective.”

That’s Dave Aitel, former NSA research scientist and founder of Miami Beach, Florida-based software security company Immunity Inc. He’s not alone. “People in the know are scared, and they’re scared for good reasons,” Aitel told Tom’s Guide.

Social media attacks masquerade as messages from your friends. Data breaches steal your personal information from companies you trusted. The Internet is not a safe place to be. With the possibility of so-called “cyberwar” looming on the horizon, the threats are only increasing.

For example, the first three months of 2014 saw 254 data breaches worldwide, resulting in the theft of 200 million records. That’s a 233 percent increase from the first three months of 2013, according to the Breach Level Index reported by Belcamp, Maryland-based information security company SafeNet Inc.

What’s worse, only 1 percent of these 254 breached databases used encryption or other security measures that would make the stolen data unusable to criminals. In the other cases, once the attackers breached the database’s outer defenses, the data was theirs for the taking.

“Attackers are getting better/faster at what they do at a higher rate than defenders are improving their trade,” wrote the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.

What kinds of security threats are coming your way, and what threats are already here? Moreover, what can you do to protect yourself? We asked a wide range of security experts about what new digital threats they see just around the corner.