Thales Security produced a 2018 report that’s as valid as ever. Over 1,000 top execs told it they believed half of US companies suffered data breaches in 2017, and there’s no reason to suspect the perpetrators of these are backing off.
It’s all too easy to blame North Korea, China, and Russia when Americans have the same skills. We’ve added to the Thales findings by casting our net wider. This served to convince us American business in still under increasing cyber threat.
These risks include commercial espionage, data mining, and ransomware too. We ought not to drop our guard for a moment. We need the best possible protection, and the securest backups to be sure we would survive a cyber-attack, if it happened to us.
Jumping Between Technologies Too Soon
It’s become popular to bet on the latest technologies before the horse has left the stable properly, so to speak. This is partly to do with cyber security threats, and partly our desire to always improve things.
Many of these new technologies are approaching plug and play capability. Hence we run the very real risk of taking software on board before thoroughly checking any conflicts and vulnerabilities it poses.
The 451 Research team working in tandem with Thales Security found over half their respondents were not checking new applications sufficiently thoroughly. Moreover this included cloud computing, internet of things, and blockchain ware.
Unfortunately this trend of taking new software on trust is continuing despite the WannaCry and ongoing Facebook debacles. Have our defenses softened to the extent that Google watching our every click no longer worries us?
When last did you drill down and find out how risk-taking your company culture is. And how much time your employees spend surfing the internet and visiting dating sites on your machines? There is a growing case for backing our data up elsewhere.
Complexities Caused by Overlapping Clouds
The Thales Security report advised our range of storage options is the biggest challenge to cyber security. Tokenization and encryption are still preferred solutions for shielding data from attacks. However there is less consensus where to keep it.
The problem resides in the plethora of cloud solutions that aggressively compete for our business. When we board a new one, we may leave old data behind where it is, because of the effort involved in consolidating.
Unsurprisingly, Thales Security found more than 75% of respondents were multi-clouding, with a staggering over 14% using over 5. Security is only as good as the weakest point. When last did you compare your cloud(s) with what’s available now?
Risk of Large, Alarming Data Breaches
The MIT Review rated mass cyber-attacks on companies holding other people’s information increasingly likely. They cite security expert Marc Goodman saying our browsing habits will remain ‘popular targets’. These sites particularly suit data miners because it’s like ‘shooting fish in a barrel’.
Any one of us is at risk from search engines and social media storing our data but not caring for it properly. Facebook is still alive and well despite selling our data and perhaps even influencing how we voted for the US president.
CSO from IDG tried to place a value on the costs of data stolen in 2017. It concluded someone steals 58 records every second, including from Kmart, Equifax, and Verizon. They found the average cost per sortie is $1.9 million, but only where under 10,000 records are violated.
Here’s a handy link if you can’t resist the urge to know what a data breach could cost your organization. Anything priced less that prevents this happening is surely worth considering.
Loss of Computing Power to Data Miners
Data mining of the scale we mentioned consumes huge amounts of computing power. However this resource is often unavailable to data miners who must change addresses frequently to escape detection.
Alphr.Com reveals how data hackers hijacked Starbucks servers, and used their superior power to mine their customers’ accounts, and even, cheekily send themselves gift cards. They used an auto-reloading app to identify their victim’s preferred prepayment methods, obtaining critical details of their bank and PayPal accounts.
There’s growing evidence illegal miners are targeting organizations with mass computing power. Once in, they may only need a laptop to do their worst. In the process they rob their ‘host’ of computing resource for their regular operations.
They could potentially cause mission critical systems at hospitals, airports and key government installation to fail. This is not the stuff of science fiction. These things are happening now.
Malicious, Scalable Attacks by Cyber Swarms
Inc.Com posted a red alert that cyber swarms of botnets are preparing to attack not just our computers, but our internet of things. Botnet-born propaganda continues to flood our Twitter and Facebook accounts, but that’s just on the surface.
The bots now possess sufficient artificial intelligence to use our connected devices to distribute emails and fake news. They are also capable of mining their host’s information during lulls between spamming.
Inc.Com concludes, “Botnet-delivered email attacks won’t stop anytime soon, nor will the botnet-borne Russian propaganda that continues to inundate Twitter and Facebook. The situation is at a crisis level, and has been for a while. The only defense here is vigilance and a little luck … “
We Live in a Data-Driven World Says Forbes
If we activate location services on Google Maps, it can show us where we were on any day since then. Successful enterprise depends on mining as much information as possible regarding potential leads. The IRS would not be half as effective without this tool.
However, in the nature of things good technology does also fall into bad hands. The only counter we have is to protect our data, and secure it somewhere evil mouse-clicks cannot reach.
The data we generate and mine is the foundation for getting our strategies right. We live in a data-driven world now. Artificial intelligence in the wrong hands will be the biggest cyber threat in 2019, but we can find solutions in safe storage.