Smartphones represent “the newest front in the war on cyber crime,” say security firm Webroot. The firm predicts that come 2011 cloud-based data and mobile platforms will be most at risk.

As mobile platforms take the market by storm, and when you consider the amount of information a smartphone (for example) can store, IT has no choice but to look at employee-owned consumer devices – and prevent social engineering attacks. Mobile platforms should not be the soft underbelly.

Malware writers will be very aware of the growing importance in the market of the mobile platform. If the end user wants their personal device to be safe, Gerhard Eschelbeck, Webroot’s chief technology officer, believes there is a certain amount of education needed.

“Users have embraced the advantages of mobile platforms, and even though IT admins may officially consider some or all of them ‘unsupported’ in some organisations, you can’t abandon users who will choose convenience over strict IT policy,” he said.

Corporations need to stand by their employees (end users), as the social network is not going away, it’s only getting bigger. An uneducated end user could unwittingly open the door for a hacker. “Every user, from the newest administrative assistant to the C-level executives, needs training in identifying and avoiding fraudulent email and other messages, harmful file attachments and internet behavior that can lead to trouble,” Eschelbeck wrote in his blog.

Of course 2011 will also herald more services moving to the cloud – which, as Eschelbeck points out, has a down side. Cyber criminals will develop ‘a taste for the vast volumes of sensitive data stored in the cloud.’ The war continues.