Recently released by IBM in their annual X-Force Trend was the Risk Report for 2010, the study revealed some surprising results.

“From Stuxnet to Zeus Botnets to mobile exploits, [there was] a widening variety of attack methodologies popping up each day,” said Tom Cross, threat intelligence manager of IBM X-Force.

Cross noted that “the numerous, high-profile targeted attacks in 2010 shed light on a crop of highly sophisticated cyber-criminals, who may be well-funded and operating with knowledge of security vulnerabilities that no one else has. Staying ahead of these growing threats and designing software and services that are secure from the start [have] never been more critical.”

In particular, the report noted a number of trends that IT managers should be aware of in the year ahead if they intend to protect their organizations’ systems and data.

More Mobile Devices: According to the study, many organizations are struggling to secure data on the rising number of employee-owned and business-issued mobile devices. The year saw an increase in mobile vulnerabilities, particularly with the trend of “jailbreaking” devices.

While malware is still uncommon on the latest mobile devices, data stored on these machines can be lost and misused. According to the report, companies should focus on better password management and data encryption capabilities for mobile devices.

Securing the Cloud: Last year a change in perception about cloud computing according to the IBM report has more organizations migrated to this technology. The study found that cloud providers must work to earn customers’ trust, specifically by building a more secure infrastructure. It also found that cloud platforms will need to become more sophisticated in order to handle more sensitive workloads.

The report predicted that, eventually, the cloud will become more secure and cost-effective than in-house implementations. Ultimately, this progress could make security a main driver for cloud adoption.