2015 was a big challenge for cyber security. There were a lot of fireworks with all the high profile targets and attackers that made headlines. But now we can ask, will 2016 be a better year for cyber security? What are we – both end users and the security industry – going to do to make 2016 a better year? .
Our 2016 predictions made bold claims about what will happen in the next 12 months. We can simply wait for these to happen, or we can prepare ourselves before they do happen. We just have to remember that cyber security is as much as prevention as it is negating the effects of these attacks. So we need to do our part in the process.
One thing is for certain, the security industry will deal with ransomware, and a lot of it. People ask if paying ransom is a good or bad idea. If people just backed up their important files, the question doesn’t need to be asked anymore. That is why everyone should learn how to properly handle personal data. The problem is, people only learn about these things once they become the victims.
We also predict that the failure of a consumer grade smart device will turn lethal. Just think about it for a moment. How much devices do we entrust to the internet? Sure, it would be more convenient for companies. You know who else benefits from that? Cybercriminals. We have to keep in mind that vulnerabilities will not always be detected before something bad happens. And by then, unfortunately, it would be too late.
We also spoke of Data Protection Officers, or the lack thereof. It will be crucial for companies to employ Data Protection Officers, but even then it will be an uphill battle for various reasons, including cultural differences. For example, In Germany, having a Data Protection Officers is necessary by law, but in other countries, it’s not. Companies might even think that they don’t need one. They could say “We already have an IT department, why should we hire a Data Protection Officer?” Every major company needs to know what the role is, especially with the upcoming EU Data Protection regulation which will be a law by 2018.
Let’s face it, bad things will always happen. The fight against cybercrime will not be won through attrition. That is why this year will truly be a test. Everyone has to work in order to have a better year regardless if you’re just regularly backing up important data, assessing if a device is too risky to be accessed remotely, or hiring a Data Protection Officer. By doing the basics well, by accomplishing all these, only then can we be closer to having a more secure year.