Cybersecurity Insight

Cybersecurity in 2015: What Did We Learn?

31 Dec

The topic of cybersecurity was scalding hot this past year. It was debated by politicians, observed critically and thoughtfully by businesses worldwide, and misunderstood by countless consumers. From a technological standpoint, the breakthroughs that have occurred over the last few years are absolutely astounding. Our lives as human beings are forever changed due to many of these advancements.

Of course, cybersecurity is ever-changing, both positively and negatively; we know all too well the effects of cyber attacks on businesses such as Target and Home Depot, as well as private citizens. So, given the rise in cybersecurity-related events in 2015, it’s time to talk about what we learned in the past year:

Attacks Are On The Rise

Although we don’t know the full statistics from 2015 just yet, we can surmise that cyber attacks didn’t dissipate in the past year. Cyber attacks attacks against big companies rose by 40% from 2013 to 2014, and another smaller study by the Ponemon Institute echoes a similar sentiment for 2015 – an 82% net increase over six years in cyber crime. Our everyday lives continue to be touched by technology, making it imperative that we take cyber crime more seriously.

”It Won’t Happen To Us” is No Longer a Good Answer

When it comes to businesses, many believe they will not fall victim to a cyber attack because they are “too small” or “aren’t that type of business.” Sadly this notion is a bit of a fairy tale; the reality is any business can be subject to a cyber attack.

All businesses should have some sort of plan in place to protect against or mitigate the risk of a cyber attack if they use any type of technology to store information or take credit card payments. Brian Krebs, a renowned cybersecurity expert, learned the hard way that even his PayPal account could be hacked through a human customer service error, four digits of his SSN, and old credit card data given over the phone.

The Future of Cybersecurity Is Bright

While some heeded the early warning signs of looming cyber threats, for the majority of people and businesses they cropped up out of nowhere. This is not a helpless situation – rather, it simply means we have to take action to ensure our cyber safety going forward. As we prepare for 2016 and beyond, we should take our cybersecurity protection more seriously through initial assessment services or more in-depth monitoring.