A recent report by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), an EU advisory body, has warned that innovations in mobile and cloud computing, social technology and the use of “big data” present an emerging risk to business’ IT security, which should push the issue up the risk assessment agenda set by management accountants.
The report provides an independent overview of observed threats and threat agents together with the current top threats, and emerging threats trends landscapes.
In addition, the Threat Landscape report analyses the “cyber enemy”; identifying and also listing the top ten, out of a total of sixteen, threats in emerging technology areas. The areas considered are Mobile Computing, Social Media/Technology, Critical Infrastructure, Trust Infrastructures, Cloud, and Big Data.
Drive-by downloads attacks against web browsers have become the top web threat. More specifically, attackers are moving into targeting browser plugins such as Java exploits, which are the major cross-platform threat, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash.
A firm’s technological advances must therefore be top of the list for a risk assessment, as confidential information could be compromised through data breaches, particularly in the area of invoicing and payments, as these sorts of activities on mobile platforms will definitely get the hackers’ attention.
The report also warned that cyber criminals could use the capabilities of cloud computing for their own gains, such as by storing malware in those systems and using the technology as a platform to launch attacks.
Without an up-to-date risk assessment, a business cannot be sure that it is not open to attack, so all the other hard work it does to generate and maintain profits could be lost. It is therefore vital that the management accountant prioritises this on the company agenda.