Top 3 Security Threats of 2014

By Reed Hallowell | April 4, 2014

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 1. BYOD Trends In The Workplace

We can’t ignore it anymore; the BYOD trend is booming and cannot be stopped.  Employees in 2014 seem to like using their own customized personal device, which makes sense because it’s easier to use and increases productivity as well as efficiency. A lot of employees don’t know it yet but bringing their own mobile devices into the workplace causes a lot of issues with the risk of data breaches and being exploited. The risk associated with bringing in a device varies and is explained well by Steve Durbin of Computer Weekly stating, “These risks stem from both internal and external threats, including mismanagement of the device itself, external manipulation of software vulnerabilities and the deployment of poorly tested, unreliable business applications.”

If the policy at your business is BYOD and you work with confidential information than most likely your company is already highly at risk. What needs to be done now is that the IT specialist needs to implement a structured plan to help thwart data breaches on these personal devices. If this isn’t done a company is not only at risk for data loss which can result in millions in fines but can also hurt the marketability and branding of companies who service a large quantity of customers.

 2. A Severe Rise In Cyber Crime

 Cyber crime in America is rising the more people store their lives online. Whether it be personal, financial, or work related, these crimes are as unpredictable as they are ruthless. Criminals are beginning to figure out that cyber crime is safe than breaking into a bank since there is less risk of being injured with a bigger gap between when authorities are notified and where they can find you. Cyber crime can cause an enterprise as well as an individual to lose millions if they aren’t properly protected. One of the main issues is that most people don’t seem to care until it’s too late.

Key Findings from the 2013 US State of Cybercrime survey states writes, “Cyber threats have become so persistent, the attacks so pervasive, that organizations – and their leaders – have essentially become inured to what cyber security and US Government officials call an ever-increasing threat. When organizations fall victim to cyber attacks, only then do they realize the time to take action was yesterday.”

A simple way to avoid this? Keep all confidential information off your devices unless you plan on encrypting them. It may seem ridiculous but that really is one of the only ways you can make sure you aren’t going to fall victim to a cyber attack. Internet criminals are always thinking up new ways to trick people and are normally ahead of authorities so keeping any possibility away is honestly the best option. The only other way to keep people out of your data is to encrypt everything and not allow access to anyone but yourself.

3. Government Regulation on Privacy

With the increase of personal information stolen from companies, the government has amped up it’s policies and regulations for how companies can store and share this information. These regulations can do similar damage to a company in terms of cost and can bankrupt a company if the data loss is severe enough but on the other hand it helps keep the public safe since so many industries now need personal information to function. Laws like the HIPAA/HITECH Act for healthcare and FERPA for education are in place to help assist these companies but if ignored can result in the loss of millions as well as the data that is lost in the breach. These laws can vary country to country but you can bet that if a data breach occurs that shouldn’t have, the government will be right behind it.