June 25, 2012, 8:47 PM — Think summer means emptier offices and less to worry about in the security department? Not anymore.
According to the security experts we spoke with, more mobile devices, and folks using their own smartphones to access corporate networks, means summer vacations pose a new kind of risk these days. And while the financially-motivated criminals may be on vacation, the politically-motivated "hacktivists" actually view summer as a prime time to strike.
Read on for the four security threats you should be on guard for during these warm months.
"Whatever scam the scammers run, they will adapt it to the popularity of the Olympics," said Chester Wisniewski, Senior Security Advisor with security firm Sophos. "We're already seeing a lot of phishing by email tied to the Olympics. You've won the Olympic lottery of 50,000 pounds. You've won an all-expense paid trip to see the Olympics, that sort of thing."
As the games, which are slated to begin on July 27th, draw closer, Wisniewski said he also expects more sites that are expecting increased traffic because of the Olympics, such as broadcasting websites, to be targeted. And that means users logging on to these sites from work devices risk compromising their computer, or even their corporate network.
"You can imagine how many people are going to find out how many medals their country won each day, so they are a very high profile target."
"The highest-mobility times are also the highest-target times for thieves looking to steal smartphones and laptops," according to Ward Clapham, a 30-year of police veteran who is now vice president of investigations and recovery for Absolute Software, a lost-device-tracking company. "During the June, July and August travel time, expect to see these devices go missing. And, ultimately, when these things go missing, so does the intelligence."
Clapham believes part of necessary policy in today's mobile, and increasingly BYOD, work environment is educating users on risky behaviors both before travel and during the trip.