We live in an era in which national cybersecurity issues are frequently uncovered and companies are continually devastated by cyber attacks. Time and time again, you read about it or hear it in the evening news, and it would seem as if no one is really looking into our national cybersecurity crises. Each new national security breach seems to result in more extensive damage than the last.
Even as technology evolves at a state in which businesses find invaluable, individuals and organizations continue to use cybercrime to break down our systems for their own gain. It seems they are able to infiltrate our systems at a new level of technical sophistication. Regular data breaches have become so commonplace, consumers have simply come to expect them.
Progress Toward Cybersecurity
While the facts are dismal, there is great progress toward heightened cybersecurity even though you may not hear this on the evening news. Cybersecurity is a topic that has vast attention and a healthy budget by technologists, leaders, and the government. Some key organizations tasked with addressing cybersecurity awareness and issues include the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security and Privacy along with the International Association for Cryptologic Research. Together these groups conduct an annual nationwide symposium on the subject and have done so every year since 1980. Other companies such as LifeLock, Experian, and many third-party cybersecurity companies have taken a serious position in helping to prevent identity cyber fraud.
Identity theft and cybercrime continue to require aggressive protective measures, and data shows that these added measures including identity theft protection services are helping to minimize the consequences of cyberattacks. As cybersecurity services expand along with technology, our cybernation is in fact becoming safer, but it comes at the high price of learning from these devastating events.
Securing Your Identity
While security for larger organizations is usually a high priority that includes funding, there are a number of effective, low-cost measures small companies and individuals can take on their own for identity protection:
- Change passwords often and use password guidelines.
- Secure your hardware, devices, and peripherals in every way.
- Record your assets, card numbers, and personal data in the case of a loss.
- Keep your social security number and other personal card numbers private, and never share or store them in emails, websites, texts, or voice messages.
- Adjust your security and privacy protection settings for every app, credit card, and account including social media. The default privacy setting for most credit cards is a shared setting.
- Ensure you have an up-to-date firewall, spyware, and virus protection for your computer environment.
- Recognize common scams and avoid any contact with perpetrators; never give out personal information that could be pieced together to compromise your identity.
- Develop and document a plan of action in the case of identity theft, and contact the authorities as soon as possible if this should happen.
This shortlist can be accomplished fairly easily in terms of identity protection, but when you have greater assets in the form of data, you may need a more effective solution.
Securing Your Data
Data has evolved to become one of the most valuable assets for most enterprises. In fact, according to Gartner, information security spending was up 12.4% in 2018. By 2020, cybersecurity spend will reach over $655 billion and is expected to grow. Enterprises must make serious choices when it comes to data privacy and protecting valuable data related assets:
- Develop cybersecurity awareness along with a data encryption plan.
- Put in place automated anti-malware software updates.
- Ensure you have a trusted firewall in place.
- Protect your shared networks.
- Call on automated remote backup services.
- Invest in private cloud services and dedicated servers.
- Use strict password and security guidelines for every facet of your IT.
- Invest in up-to-date technology compatible with current security efforts.
- Develop a cybersecurity strategy.
- Invest in a third-party data security service.
Data privacy and security are a certain goal for every organization, and new cybersecurity threats have driven most companies to seek help. It may be time to locate a reputable provider like RackCo for solid remote backup services and private cloud services in case of an unexpected cyber event. A small business may find third-party providers and cybersecurity companies can offer more efficient and safe solutions than ever before. It is a new era of identity theft and data protection.