Cyber-attacks are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Today, attacks range from computer worms to extensive data breaching. As cyber threat cases continue to increase, the defenses against them are also evolving, and this has led to many changes in cybersecurity. In 2018, some of the leading businesses and government organizations, including Medicaid and Medicare, recorded several cybersecurity breaches. According to analysts, 2019 is not likely to be any different, and cyber-attacks will increase.
Introduction of New Data Collection Laws
On June 28, 2018, the then California Governor signed The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The act gives people the right to know what personal information a business has gathered about them. It also gives them the right to deny a company the permission to issue their personal information to third parties, the right to have a business discard their personal information, and the right to receive fair and equal service from a company even after enforcing their privacy rights as provided by the Act. The law gives consumers protections against involuntary data collection. While this law may not affect you if you’re not a Californian, other states will follow this trend, and it will affect how you run your business.
An Increase in Cyber Attacks-Breaches and Leaks
In 2018, there was an increase in the number of data leaks and breaches, a clear indication of changing risks with technology. In 2019, cases of cyber-attacks and leaked information will increase. In responding to the increasing cybersecurity cases, you should carry out a vigorous cybersecurity risk assessment and come up with a risk management plan. You should no longer rely on big-box chains for data security as these have miserably failed. The only way out is to take risk management in your own hands and adopt measures to protect your business and client information. In the recent past, millions of internet users have been relying on VPNs (private data networks) to encrypt internet traffic and protect their personal data. However, the recent revelation about state-sponsored VPN service providers has raised concerns to internet users both in the US and across the world. People are seeking truly private VPN services.
Risks May Extend to Home-Based Wi-Fi Networks
In 2019, even home-based Wi-Fi networks are likely to face cyber-attacks. Other vulnerable devices will also be a target, and attackers will snatch information as it transits from a sender to the ISP. There is a considerable risk of your personal information, including social security number being snatched every time you fill forms and submit. With online bill payment and online shopping, your credit card information is also vulnerable, and it may fall into the wrong hands.
An Increase in Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorism is not a new concept as it has taken place in the past. However, there is a likelihood of cyber terrorists using even more advanced tactics and to target victims when they least expect. When coming up with risk assessment strategies, consider cyber terrorism as a possible risk. Cyber terrorism may vary in magnitude ranging from simple ransomware attacks like WannaCry that may lock you out of your computer until you pay a ransom. Businesses and individuals should expect terrorists to adopt new techniques to come up with coordinated attacks on targeted companies, locations, and individuals. Businesses, government, and individuals must carry out strategic risk analysis and assess their vulnerability. This will help them come up with strategies to prevent possible attacks.
Target on Social Media and Other Interactive Sites
When using social media platforms or other interactive online sites, you may have encountered a chatbot. Chatbots are AI-powered programs that make it easy to handle client/customers inquiries. However, a chatbot may pose a specific risk.
It is always good to be alert while using interactive online platforms. For instance, if you get a connection request on social media, it is wise to check out the profile of the requester. Beware of profiles that have few or no pictures and no friends. If such a requestor sends you a link, for instance, avoid clicking the link as you may be compromising your cybersecurity. As artificial intelligence gets smarter and utilizes human speech, people and companies are at a higher risk of being misled.
Which Direction Should You Take?
Cybersecurity is essential for individuals, organizations, and businesses of all sizes. To protect yourself, first ensure that you understand vulnerabilities, including phishing, hacking, identity theft, malware, keylogging, and social engineering. Next, include security policies in your risk management plan. Because sensitive information is now stored digitally, ensure that your policy covers much more than standard practices. It should address newer concerns such as cloud computing, social media security, and the Internet of Things.