Information Security: An Emerging Market
As the number of cyber threats increases, both consumers and businesses are growing more concerned with information security. The Internet security industry is on a meteoric rise: the global Internet security market is expected to become a $40 billion dollar industry by 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. Here is a look at some of the latest threats facing the web consumers:
Identity theft has been an ever-growing problem for the last decade, but new forms of identity theft loom on the horizon. Synthetic identity theft, in which a criminal uses just one piece of your actual identity and falsifies other information such as your name or birthday, has been on the rise over the last decade. In fact, synthetic identity fraud is now the dominate form of the crime. ABC News reports that it makes up as much as 85 percent of identity fraud in the United States and costs an estimated two billion dollars to businesses and consumers.
Consumers can help protect themselves by looking for third party verification by organizations like the Better Business Bureau if you feel at all uncomfortable with a company accessing your credit information. Cyber criminals are always developing new means of stealing consumers’ personal information, and with the risk so great, consumers must take extra steps to protect themselves. The security industry has responded with the growth of services like LifeLock, which provide consumers with protection and solutions in the event that their personal information is compromised. With identity theft on the rise and cyber criminals always finding new ways to commit fraud, this aspect of the security industry will likely grow as new solutions arise.
Malicious software in the form of infected advertising banners, malware disguised as apps, viruses, and even adware exists on the Internet in greater numbers than ever before. CNET reports that there has been more malware found in the last two years than in the previous decade combined. With today’s consumers facing more threats than ever before, security companies are beginning to track the way that malware behaves and follow the trends in malicious software design to better combat it. Malware developers have taken to using the techniques developed by security professionals, such as encryption, to protect their criminal software, so the development of anti-virus software is an ongoing battle for Internet security companies. As long as malware is producing opportunities for fraud, cyber criminals will not abate in its development, but luckily the Internet security industry is constantly adapting to the new threats.
One of Internet risks that’s the most difficult for security firms to fight isn’t actually the criminals or their software, but consumers placing themselves at unnecessary risk. Scams that were once commonly run over the phone or mail moved to the Internet quickly, and the issue is often that consumers are simply unfamiliar with the newest scams. For example, financial scammers have moved to targeting consumers with poor credit to offer them loans and credit cards. They often pose as friendly faces on social media and are not above creating false profiles of users’ actual friends.