2shareeconomy"Shareconomy" was the motto of the CeBIT last year, the world’s largest international computer show that will open its doors again next month in Hanover, Germany. What it describes in a condensed matter is the sharing of information which quite obviously requires a secure exchange of data and good solutions to fight viruses, worms and malware.

Risks for companies

Closely linked to shareconomy is the breakthrough of cloud applications in almost all aspects of our digital life, providing significant problems and opportunities for the identity and access management (IAM) industry, as it is a disruptive technology that is challenging the status quo within the IAM sector. Fact is that almost 80% of businesses already make some use of cloud services and that strategic as well as ad hoc adoption of cloud facilities is on the rise.

And there is another trend apparent at the center of cloud computing and the shareconomy right now: “Bring Your Own Everything” as an extension of the BYOD phenomenon. Therefore in the future, companies need to train their employees more in dealing with information and set binding rules. Special attention needs to be paid to mobile security, as smartphones and tablets allow users not only flexible access to data, but provide cybercriminals a gateway to enterprise networks as well.

In addition, the constantly growing connectedness of anyone with any system anywhere provides new targets for hackers. Thus, for instance, industrial plants are increasingly becoming the focus of attacks, whereby individual machines and robots are targeted that have outdated operating systems that are full of security holes.

At the same time the sharing of information has also affected the energy market. With smart grids and smart meters, consumption data are continuously exchanged, making new security solutions necessary.

Risks for individuals

The security risks for consumers shouldn’t be underestimated either: Today’s consumers have a variety of Internet-enabled devices at their fingertips and use them extensively, depending on the location and occasion, down to their whim for photos, chats, websites or online shopping, therefore making an effective cross-device protection crucial.

Internet security companies, such as e.g. Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro or Kaspersky, provide solutions in the retail segment that center user data and enable secure browsing - whether with a PC, Mac, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Just take a look at the current cause of alarm regarding Windows XP which has been around since 2001. For years now, Microsoft has been warning its customers about the April 8, 2014 cut-off deadline for Windows XP security support. After that day, XP systems could be exploited more easily by malware, so the Windows XP shutdown is right now even forcing some large companies, banks and government bodies to ask for emergency IT support until they find an alternative solution as they forgot to prepare accordingly.

Let’s not talk about Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system that provides a common platform for tablets, smartphones and desktop PCs, as it is said to be 12 times more insecure than Windows XP, making it an open invitation to hackers, worms and viruses.

By Daniela La Marca