How safe is our information online and how can we protect ourselves?  Here are the top trends in data security…

With a record number of leaks, hacks, and breaches, 2017 proved to be the worst year for network security. Unfortunately, 2018 is not off to a better start.  Cambridge Analytica gained access to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users.  This highlights a larger debate over how much users can trust Facebook with their data, or any online service for that matter.  Here’s what we can expect this year in terms of data security and how you can protect yourself online.

GDPR Launch

The European Union recently adopted stricter regulations for how businesses collect, store, and use customer information. This May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be in full effect, imposing stricter rules regarding how companies collect, store, and use consumer data. Even U.S. companies will need to abide by these rules if they plan on doing business with EU citizens or entities.

Increased Security

A large percentage of breaches have occurred due to the activities of authorized individuals. This can include something as malicious as direct employee theft of data or as accidental as network access granted via an email phishing scam. Businesses should increase internal security with network monitoring tools and regular security training to secure the vulnerability caused by negligent and disgruntled employees.

Social Media Security

Social media, while fun, has a lot of vulnerability simply because it has more connectivity, it’s more trusted, and it’s less visible than any other communication or business platform. Security teams need to join their sales, marketing, and customer success groups in the digital era, follow social media security best practices, and implement risk monitoring and remediation technology around social media to secure their organization’s future.

Stay Protected

There are a few reasons why data breaches happen, but the crux of the issue is someone, somewhere, wants access to personal data, usually for personal information that can be used for purchases, credit accounts, and more.  Hackers also rely on other sensitive information—name, email, address, or social security numbers, — for selling purposes to turn a profit.

Hackers search for this data because it can be used to make money by duplicating credit cards, and using personal information for fraud, identity theft, and even blackmail.

People are affected when their records were part of the information stolen from big companies.  In such cases, it is best to take note of the following practices:

  • Notify your bank. Verify your account details and change PIN codes.
  • Double check email addresses from incoming emails. Cybercriminals can pose as bank representatives and ask for credentials.
  • Do not click suspicious looking links or download files from unknown sources.
  • If credentials or financials have been tampered, contact the breached company and ask if they can assist in enrolling in a fraud victim assistance program.
  • Data breaches are silent attacks, which is why relying on the latest security features, whether for merchant accounting and computing, or storing data, can help to mitigate these risks.

Properly disposing data is another way to prevent a data breach.  In addition to investing in the latest encryption technologies, companies should always rely on hard drive destruction services through the use of commercial shredders.  Data is impossible to retrieve once it has been pulverized through shredding trucks, which is just one small measure in the fight against data theft.

Humans are simultaneously the weakest security link and the strongest defense. Whenever you’re online, remember that bad things can happen. Everyone should analyze accounts, links and direct messages with a careful, skeptical eye. When in doubt, don’t click.


Top Trends in Data Security

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