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(Photo: ISF)

With more internal information held by outside service providers, companies face the risk of increased threats to data security, according to an independent cyber security body.

"More organizations will fall victim to information security incidents at their suppliers," the Information Security Forum (ISF) predicted. "Today's organization's data is increasingly spread across many parties. While the IT function can provide an inventory of all data they hold, it is difficult to do that throughout the supply chain."

The forum, a global independent information security body, has listed five major digital threats companies can expect in 2013. These are:

  • An insecure supply chain
  • Potential attacks on countries' data infrastructure
  • The management challenges posed by Big Data
  • Cloud insecurity
  • Consumerization
"Organizations must prepare for the unpredictable so they have the resilience to withstand unforeseen, high impact events,"said Steve Durbin, global vice president of ISF.

The organization said a"a full internet or telecommunications blackout" as a result of cyber crime is possible and companies should be prepared for it.

It also warned that corporations, eager to make much more use of  big data, "can easily be overwhelmed by the risks posed by big data."

And the ISF said the growth of cloud computing requires concrete actions to deal with inherent risks. "While a number of organizations are now implementing strategies for cloud computing security and compliance, " the ISF said, " businesses still have a way to go in certain areas."

With regard to the growing use of personal end-user devices for company business, the ISF cited two concerns: business information can end up on unauthorized devices and individual location information can be used for criminal purposes.