The digital landscape is ever changing. It exists in a constant state of evolution and revolution, driven by new innovations. For consumers this means more convenience, more choice and greater access. For businesses this means improved productivity, more efficient processes, faster problem-solving with greater accountability, and a wealth of opportunity.
Of course, technology is also a double-edged sword!
Threats to your business’ cyber security are also in a constant state of change and evolution. With each year it seems that one business or another has been brought to its knees by malware, security breaches and data theft. Just as legitimate software developers are constantly at work devising and refining efficient digital solutions, so are their criminal counterparts. Fortunately, for every digital malcontent trying to compromise the networks of legitimate businesses, there’s a cyber security engineer hard at work on pre-empting their malicious attacks. Nevertheless, it is important for business owners to make themselves knowledgeable about the issue of cyber security and the tools at their disposal as we head into a new year.
The biggest data breaches of 2018
Cyber security breaches can affect any business at any time. No business is too small or too large to be immune. Make no mistake, when you go into business for yourself, you paint a target on your back at which cyber criminals will take aim. This year alone, we’ve seen some extremely high-profile security breaches including;
Uber- Uber already has an unfortunate history of compromising user data going back to 2016. The taxi hailing platform was forced to pay hundreds of millions in damages after a cyber-attack exposed the data of 57 million customers and drivers.
Google- The search engine diet was dealt a very public black eye this year which saw its (already ailing) social media platform Google+ shut down. At the beginning of the year, Google noticed a vulnerability in an API which gave third party developers access to app users’ data. Not only did Google compromise this data, they enshrouded the vulnerability in secrecy for fear of damage to their reputation. Further investigation found out that a bug within the website was sharing the access to the data of Google+ users between 2015 until the issue was resolved in March 2018.
Facebook- This year, social media leviathan Facebook also encountered a cyber security vulnerability that compromised the data of over 50 million users while 30 million personal records were stolen. Worryingly, at the time Facebook had not noticed that the accounts were compromised, nor had they found any inappropriate activity. It was later revealed that the attackers used Facebook developer APIs to steal the data.