Computer security is often a huge game of cat and mouse – antivirus software companies are always in a race against to protect against the multitude of threats facing the public. Companies and consumers alike are constantly under siege from malware, viruses, hacking attempts, and phishing scams. If you want to be better prepared, keep a lookout for these top security trends in 2012:

Hacking and security breaches are inevitable. They happen every day, and even big companies are not immune. The problem? The large volume of attacks launched every day. Last year, Sony’s Playstation Network went down for several consecutive days and the personal information of several million customers was compromised. Businesses have accepted that it’s no longer about preventing these attacks from occurring; it’s acknowledging that it will happen and plans need to be made for how to respond. The quicker a breach is detected, the easier it is to recover.

Mobile threats are on the rise. To date, the Android OS has attracted the most attention in this area, although it’s highly ineffective since most users don’t keep financial information – the stuff that makes criminals money – on their devices. Smartphone users are essentially in the clear for now, with malware threats being not much more than a nuisance in most cases. However, it’s only a matter of time before the threats become dangerous, especially for other platforms, namely Windows Mobile OS.

Social networks are a large target. Social network attacks work because they fool the users into willingly giving out information. It’s very easy for hackers to engineer a link that will redirect a user to a website that looks identical, but fake version of a well-known website, such as Paypal or the social network itself. Unsuspecting users then enter their log in information, thus giving the hackers direct access to their information. With 800 million registered members on Facebook alone, the market for hacking attempts has unlimited potential for criminals.

Code is constantly under scrutiny. Hackers often use known vulnerabilities in programs to launch their attack. An abundance of bugs and flaws means there are that many more openings for a hacker to gain unwanted access. Developers need to take the time to make sure their code is flawless and release updates when they’ve detected a problem.