Hackernoon logoGlobal Security in an Age of Rising Cyber Threats by@alorphillips

Global Security in an Age of Rising Cyber Threats

Avery Phillips Hacker Noon profile picture

Avery Phillips

Ransomware is here to stay. With the rise of IoT connected devices that have deficient security, the fact that every business big and small is collecting data, and how easy it’s becoming to trick people online, the next few years are likely to be marked by more cyber security threats.

Data is increasingly becoming vital to the core of business success. More specifically, this involves the use of cloud services to collect and analyze data. Larger companies have better security, but it’s been proven that even major health organizations, tech companies, and governments are not completely immune from cyber attacks.

Who is Performing Cyber Attacks?

To the likely relief of many, one of the biggest reasons people seem to be performing cyber attacks is for money. Hackers are stealing data, and ransoming it back. It’s not exactly good news. It’s costing a lot of money, but it means that when data is lost to hackers and malware, it’s likely not beyond recovery. There’s a catch, though: a breach is a breach, and even when the data is recovered, it has still been compromised. This type of thing can still ruin a company and destroy the trust their customers place in them.

Bad actors in the digital security space have realized that the more important data becomes to the running of a business, the more likely they are to make money by holding it to ransom. This is one of the big reasons for the rise in ransomware over the last several months. There certainly are professional corporate espionage and terrorist operations going on in this space, but the majority seem to be independent people looking for money.

This isn’t to say that the attacks are less sophisticated and dangerous. Unfortunately, individuals and loose organizations have proven to be very effective at defeating even some of the best security available.

Fighting Back as Cyber Attacks Become the New Normal

Data security is a constant game of chess between the people creating security and the people trying to defeat it. There are, however, more pieces involved than the technology. The human element of security is one of the most exploitable.

Adjusting to the future of IT means approaching security from multiple angles to protect your business, employees, and clients.

On the technical side, web developers and software engineers need to remain proactive in order to avoid liability for breaches. Protecting customers means first making sure that the technology they use is safe. That means testing and proactive patching to get ahead of vulnerabilities.

In most cases, however, breaches don’t occur due to straight up faulty coding. It’s the human element that’s easiest to exploit.

The Human Element of Cyber Security

Experts in cyber security, web developers, and businesses themselves need to become teachers. We are globally connected, and it’s becoming an increasingly important responsibility for businesses to take accountability for the data they collect from around the world. Part of that responsibility includes teaching employees and customers about their own responsibilities as digital citizens of the world. Companies are responsible for providing safe technology, yes, but the average consumer needs to be taught to be responsible for their passwords, to be knowledgeable about their privacy, to recognize scams and avoid unsafe networks.

Training people is perhaps the most important and most critical job ahead of security professionals. Examples of this includes:

  • Companies need to learn about managing login credentials.
  • Consumers need to learn to use multiple factor authentication when they log in to services.
  • Employees need to learn about phishing scams and internal security risks.

These lessons and more need to be taught on a wide scale to make our identities and businesses safe online.

In the end there is only so much that technology can do to protect us. The more it advances, the more vulnerabilities arise, so people need to know how to manage their own data. As emphasized by the recent senate interview with Mark Zuckerberg, companies also need to be held to a greater degree of accountability and data ethics. A high standard of ethics and regulation is in the best interest of companies around the world to avoid the disastrous consequences of breaches and mishandled data.


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