Data is the lifeline of any digital business and the digital security vulnerabilities are rising at an alarming speed. It has become crystal clear in recent times that no organization is immune from data security threat not even big players like Yahoo. In the dynamic world of technology that revolves around piles of data, creates plenty of opportunities for companies to share, analyze and monetize consumer data in order to win competitive advantage among other benefits. On the contrary, the increasing demand for instant access and connectivity is penetrating the data breach landscape profoundly. Regardless of the discussion on who’s responsible for protecting the consumer and business data stored in thousands of servers, the big question mark is our real concern: Is our data truly safe anymore?
Data Breaches in Recent Years:
Equifax (Consumer Credit Reporting Agency)
Year: July 29, 2017
Impact: Personal information (including Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases drivers’ license numbers) of 143 million consumers; 209,000 consumers also had their credit card data exposed.
Anthem (Health Insurance Company)
Year: February 2015
Impact: Theft of personal information on up to 78.8 million current and former customers.
JP Morgan Chase (Global Financial Services Company)
Year: July 2014
Impact: 76 million households and 7 million small businesses
eBay (E-commerce Company)
Year: May 2014
Impact: 145 million users compromised
Yahoo (Internet Services Company)
Impact: 3 billion user accounts
Adobe (American Multinational Computer Software Company)
Year: October 2013
Impact: 38 million user records
Major Challenges for Data Security
Adopting and Monitoring the Cloud Security
Organizations adopting cloud technologies at a massive scale is creating a transformative impact on the security technology industry. In recent years, many headlines caught our eyes on cloud security breaches which lead to data leaks at an alarming rate. When it comes to cloud, many organizations still use security as a roadblock which prevents them from leveraging the many advantages of cloud technology. Although monitoring cloud assets and infrastructure still continues to be a challenge, organizations can still securely deploy in cloud environments just as safely in the cloud as they do in their on-premises traditional data center with proper guidance as you can see that security is a major initiative for AWS and its partner ecosystem and customers.
Malware will continue to evolve
Predicting when hackers will target and how is never an easy job. Malware has been the most effective way for attackers to reach targets globally. Recently, WannaCry shocked the world with its’ devastating attacking techniques along with the worm components. Sadly, this makes us question the effectiveness of most antivirus products available in the market. Although many security vendors offer such products claiming complete security solutions but not all can confirm that the system is immune from such attacks as malware continues to upgrade.
IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
We are at the early stages of IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We can be hopeful about the advancements in IT products and services and their ability to create new businesses and offer benefits to the community at large.
Organizations face millions of threats each day, so it would be impossible for highly talented personnel to analyze and categorize them all on a regular basis. Thanks to the innovative machines which learns and improves by taking all the burdens on behalf of the organization to solve such new and complex threats.
While automation may expand the ability to identify and prevent attacks, artificial intelligence is still a new domain. So, these engineering intelligent systems have to architect for human analysis as a key part of the process. Advances in machine learning, AI and security can help in areas such as antimalware, dynamic risk analysis and anomaly detection.
The Vulnerability of Mobile Devices
The year’s most prevalent trend was Trojans gaining super-user privileges. As malware defenses are getting more prominent on enterprise and personal laptop, computers; the attackers are finding new techniques to spread out the viruses. Mobile Malware is undoubtedly a matter of concern for enterprises as they allow mobile devices to be used for office works that utilize the corporate internal Wi-Fi networks. This creates a new window of opportunity for hackers to gain access to confidential enterprise data.
Furthermore, as 4G and 5G services provide substantial internet bandwidth, these mobile devices can be leveraged for extremely potent DDoS attacks. The enterprises must focus on application security to combat this kind of situations since a recent study by Ponemon Institute and Lookout predicted that a mobile data breach could cost an enterprise $26.4 million.
The Insider Threat
Companies’ biggest asset can sometimes be the biggest threat. Yes, we are talking about employees, the valuable resources for any company. In many cases, it has been seen that it is not the hackers stealing data from the organization, but for the sake of official work, employees and third-parties that have access to sensitive data, steal or leak it by sending it accidentally to unauthorized recipients. This broadens the scope for external hackers to get access to inside information easily since no malware is involved and no penetration happens through the organization perimeter, many of the common security mechanisms, like firewalls and anti-viruses, become blind to these attacks happening.
Technology has reshaped everything we know, from the way we communicate to the way we run a business. Every day comes as a new challenge for specialists trying to find and fight new cyber threats. Since every threat comes with different purposes; there is no specific solution for all such security issues. But luckily, every problem has its own kind of solutions. This is high-time all security professionals, data governance and compliance practitioners must come ahead with proper action plans by identifying the loopholes and creating lower risk architectures in order to improve data security and govern sensitive data for compliance. This is the only way we can secure the system against potential cyber-criminals.