Security will be top of mind in 2017. I know it has been top of mind for me lately. The increase of my credit/check card being stolen has increased tenfold within the last two years. That’s just me too. I’m just one single person amongst billions of other persons on this planet, so you can imagine how others may feel on this subject. That is why securing data will be topics of conversation for many IT professionals this year and for the foreseeable future as we continue to see the rise of internet hacking and theft. End users and technology service providers alike will look to detection and response as forerunners to wage this new battle. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on information security is expected to reach 90 billion in 2017 with a 7.6% uptick from 2016.
Why are we seeing this trend?
In the last few years, with the advances of mobile technology and IoT, we are now accessing the internet through many unsecured means. Think of it as Swiss cheese and there is literally a Swiss cheese model describing security, learn more here. The WiFi network at the coffee shop, the device, the application on the device, we have made ourselves vulnerable by allowing the conveniences of our technology to create gaps in our cheese. If the technological means (WiFi, device & apps) are not properly stacked, the holes in our Swiss cheese become exposed.
What you can do to protect yourself:
- Stay up to date on your software updates, especially on your mobile devices. This includes the applications you use on those devices as well.
- DO NOT save or cache your passwords for major accounts you login and use to transmit payments. And do not link your credit/check cards to those accounts for easy access later.
- Change your passwords frequently. Every 90-180 days is reasonable without driving yourself crazy. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Example: Your email and bank account should NOT have the same password.
- Run AV/Malware software on your devices to prevent and detect an unwanted intrusion.
- Pay attention to suspicious emails with attachments. Usually you can spot a malicious email by its use of poor grammar but then again, hackers are getting smarter about it. Stay alert and check the email from addresses and double-check URLs are actually going to the site domain you are receiving the email from.
Unfortunately, there are a number of ways your card information can be compromised outside of email and infected computers. Card scanners are another increasing threat. What makes this rising threat frustrating is that scanners are so easy to get and even easier to use. Don’t believe me? Watch this.
Security is a constant moving target and the best way to combat it is to never lose sight of it. Stay aware of new threats as technology changes, stay up to date on your devices and apps you use, and finally, stay alert to accounts you maintain an online presence with.