What kind of malware and cybercrime can we expect in 2012? How much of it can we expect and what should we do about it? So begins that special season, the one in which experts of every stripe are called upon to prognosticate about the coming year. In keeping with the spirit of this particular seasonal phenomenon, the Threat Blog will this week publish 5 days of predictions from 5 different contributors, culminating in a sort of aggregated best guess at the end of the week.
I should note that some of our resident experts are, for a variety of reasons, hesitant to make annual predictions. A year's worth of effort doing battle with actual threats can leave a person with very little energy, or inclination, to imagine future threats. Then there is the fear of being hit over the head with a big lump of hindsight when someone notices that reality has diverged sharply from one's prognostications. One strategy I have used to avoid that outcome in the past has been to say that things are going to get worse before they get better, a prediction that has too often been true about too many aspects of information security, but not particularly helpful.
This week we will try to make our 2012 predictions more helpful, mindful that some readers are in the process of deciding how to allocate security resources in 2012. We can't tell you every threat you'll have to face in the coming year, but we can tell you what we are worried about, and what could be coming, based on our collective annual cycles of experience dealing with that has actually come to pass.