The big hacks at Target and the US federal government have brought a lot of attention to information security. Businesses need to learn about how their use of information technology exposes them to a variety of risks. In this post, we will talk about four of the biggest trends in information security that companies need to appreciate in order to prepare for the biggest threats and risks of 2015.
Hacking for Profit
The hackers who struck Target stole the identities of millions of customers. They were in it for the money. Any company that maintains transaction records, retains customer data, and otherwise keeps information that could be remunerative in the wrong hands is potentially at risk. Hackers don’t discriminate—they know small businesses don’t have the resources to build a strong security infrastructure. Businesses of all sizes need to face the fact that they are potential targets and prepare accordingly.
World governments have begun taking a great interest in all topics related to the Internet. On one end of the spectrum, repressive governments tend to use the Internet for propaganda and censorship. On the other end, some governments have begun passing privacy protection laws that affect how companies can collect and use data. In either case, businesses need to expect that they might soon face regulatory changes. These might affect how a business can collect data, how it must protect data, what it needs to tell users about data collection, and more.
No matter how much a company safeguards their data, there is one major risk that is very hard to control, and that’s the possibility that software from external vendors might be compromised. It is hard to vet this kind of software, because your whole reason for using it was that the vendor can provide it cheaper and more easily than if you tried to develop it yourself. Spending time and effort examining the software reduces the benefit from using the software in the first place, and could even make it a losing proposition.
The bottom line is that companies should not expect to be able to defeat all security threats and reduce risk to near zero. An Ottawa managed services expert says companies with full-time IT professionals on staff may still be at risk of a network intrusion. For this reason, companies should look into network support services and develop plans for what to do in case a breach takes place. That makes the eventual hack much more manageable when—not if—it actually happens.