If it seems like cyber security issues have been the most talked about IT issue for the past ten years, it's because they have been, and for good reason. The Internet of Things has made it possible for hackers to access information that was once only possible to find through carefully carried out real world attacks. The good news is that we keep making advances to thwart new techniques to garner information and compromise corporate security. The bad news is, the hackers are exceptionally inventive and they continue to find ways to take advantage of weak points in security where they can find them. For IT security experts, the focus is in staying ahead of the coming attacks and meeting challenges in real time to diminish impact.
One of the best ways to keep your company safe from upcoming attacks is in staying informed on the latest cyber security issues. Each year, new threats emerge and we learn a great deal about how to head off new threats from those just recently seen.
Top 5 Cyber Security Issues
- Retail Theft Related to CHIP Technology
As CHIP card technology becomes the norm in the US, we expect the number of online credit card fraudulent charges to skyrocket. This isn't a shot in the dark guess, it's exactly what happened when CHIP card technology was introduced in the UK. If your company does any retail business online or via phone orders, be prepared for an uptick in fraudulent card usage in those venues and take proper precautions to guard against them.
- Hacking to Change Information
People think of hackers getting access to your internal information to steal it (which does happen and we'll discuss that below). A more insidious development is in hackers gaining access to databases and changing or manipulating information. Small changes to data might be difficult to detect and pinpoint, but the ramifications could be extreme - the operator could no longer trust the validity of any data once they're aware that some portions of data have been compromised. De-tangling the mess this might cause to find when the breach happened and exactly which information was targeted could be time-consuming and exceptionally costly.
- Hacking to Steal Data
Hackers often steal data for a number of purposes. One prevalent crime in the past year has been cyber extortion. In these cases, an entity or hacker manages to steal data and they extort the company to pay them in order to prevent the release of sensitive information. We've seen large cases of this type of crime but there may be many instances that never hit the news because the victims pay the criminals. In other cases, hackers use the information for gain (such as your customer's identity and financial information) or they may make the records public in order to cause damage to the company reputation.
- Malware and Employee Error
Malware poses a huge threat for corporations because all it takes is for one employee to open the wrong document or download infected software and your entire company can be compromised. We've seen issues like this impact large corporations, banks, and healthcare offices.
- Lack of IT Professionals
One issue many companies face is the sheer volume of work for competent IT professionals in order to properly maintain cyber security. Some companies are addressing this by outsourcing their cyber security to a trusted firm. Others are adding to their in-house IT department staff.
These are only a few of the issues that your company will need to keep in mind this year and in the coming years. As technology evolves, cyber security issues will also change so it's imperative to keep up on the current trends and new defenses.
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