Everyone agrees that spam can be annoying. But with proper email spam filters, it’s pretty harmless, right? Wrong. Spam is increasingly harmful. Spam disrupts business, taking resources away from productive activities. Spam also leads to phishing attacks, where unsuspecting individuals are tricked into divulging sensitive or personal information. Spammers then use the information to steal identities and cause financial losses. And as anti-spam software becomes more efficient, spammers simply change their techniques to avoid blocks, continuing their unlawful activities.
Spyware is the third major emerging cyber-security threat, disrupting the availability and confidentiality of businesses and federal government information systems Hackers can remotely install spyware on thousands of personal computers simultaneously, using them to capture sensitive data or slow down entire systems.
Other emerging cyber-security threats include the blending of spam, phishing and spyware into new tools that are more difficult to detect and prevent, as well as new methods of using technology to unleash worms, viruses and malware that interrupt business and threaten privacy and sensitive data.