Report: Spam Declined in 2011, But Several Security Threats Remain

| Topic : Security and Compliance

Report: Spam declined in 2011, but several security threats remain

Most businesses and consumers increased cybersecurity efforts last year, and while some threats were less successful, many vulnerabilities still exist and could cause significant problems in 2012.

According to a recent report by a provider of email and web security solutions, many businesses fell victim to cyberattacks in 2011, and it's increasingly essential for them to update and improve security strategies.

"2011 brought a lot of varied activity to the realm of cybersecurity," said security expert Fred Touchette. "World events helped steer large malware campaigns as Japan and New Zealand suffered major tragedies that kept the rest of the world hungry for information. That, unfortunately, led many victims into malicious online trap."

The report said spam accounted for 88.8 percent of all email traffic last year, down from 91 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, the security provider said it quarantined more than 670 million email viruses during last year, with August and September being the busiest months for cybercriminals. Asia produced the most greatest portion of spam and malicious emails, as 39 percent of those messages originated from the continent.

"Cybercrime, unfortunately, is not going anywhere since we increasingly rely on technological advancements for convenience and entertainment," said Touchette. "The best thing we can do is remain vigilant by keeping software up to date and adopting a layered cybersecurity strategy."

The report said mobile malware, social engineering, social media scams, targeted malware and hacktivism are among the top cybersecurity threats enterprises and consumers must beware of this year.

Multiple global disasters and highly publicized deaths in 2011 resulted in almost instant worldwide spam attacks. Following the recent death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, security experts detected several spam campaigns targeting email users with interest in his life, political career and death. Additionally, the deaths of Muammar Gadhafi and Osama bin Laden caused cybercriminals to devise significant spam attacks.

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