What You Need To Focus On Right Now
If you have paid attention, even just a little, to the cyber security world in the past few years, you already know that malicious activity on the internet hasn’t lessened. In fact, it has increased and morphed into something entirely new, and yet exactly the same. I’ll explain that paradox in a moment. Experts in this field have come to recognize that hackers have a few specific targets and if we can focus the majority of our security energy on those protecting those targets, we can put ourselves in a much more secure posture. So, what do I mean by “morphed into something entirely new, and yet exactly the same?” The major new target hackers are hyper focused on is the acquisition of large amount of data. But they are trying to steal that data using the same basic methodology that has been in place for many years. Data is the prize in today’s computing and personal privacy arenas. Think about this for a minute. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others all monetize user data. The more data you have, the more you can leverage that data into cash flow. The value of data isn’t anything new, per se, but the value greatly increases when the amount of data increases to the levels we see on the internet today. Several years ago, the value of one credit card on the black market was approximately one dollar. That’s it. Just one measly dollar. Why? Because thieves knew it could only be feasibly used for a few minutes before it was blocked or cancelled. It wasn’t worth a high-level criminal’s time to go after individual credit cards. But a whole database of credit card numbers had a much higher value because of the increased cash flow possibilities. It’s basically the same today. Identity theft has morphed into attacking databases more often than individuals. Yes, there are still some direct individual attacks out there, mostly against elderly people, but the majority of these targets have transitioned to larger data sets. And with the amount of data being stored in the cloud, there are many targets where hackers can aim their skills. Just look at the Target and OPM hacks from a few years back to see a good example. OK, so what does that mean for you? What should you be focused on right now? You probably already guessed it. Data protection. Take a look at your network. Take a look at your business model. If you are storing personal or sensitive information, especially in large quantities, you need to put some serious security mechanisms in place to protect that data. There are some simple methods that can create air tight solutions in many situations. Serious security doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to manage.