Data security threats are on the increase. In 2015, there were substantial data breaches across the globe. Members’ private data was stolen from LinkedIn, Ashley Madison, major banks and other organizations. The cost was a whopping £3.79 million, according to the Ponemon 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study. What are the implications for your business or as an individual? You have to be vigilant to protect your data.

With the advancement of technology, cyber criminals have become more advanced. They’re developing  clever tactics to outsmart security measures.

You have to wise up to these security trends on the increase this year…

 

Smartphones are a new target

Convenience is not always the best solution. Online banking and paying for goods on your smartphone can be dangerous. Hackers are finding ways to track your financial details while you’re using Google Pay and Apple Pay to transfer money.

Alarmingly, according to Kaspersky, more than 50% of smartphone users are not aware that their smartphones can be hacked. Access is gained through the camera and most users don’t know this. Also, hackers are able to read personal files and see photos stored on mobiles.

Using Wi-Fi in public is not secure. You could easily compromise your data security without realizing.  Places like airports and cafes can give hackers access to your phone. If you must use Wi-Fi in those places and get warning messages saying the server identify cannot be verified, be cautious. When asked to click continue to join, DON’T click.

In addition, you should know that charging your phones in public places also presents a risk of hacking. When the phone is plugged in, it receives data, such as the name of the device, type, serial number, firmware information, electronic chip ID and more.

You have to make sure the security on your devices is up to date. One option is to download security software from the App store.

 

How safe is online Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is available worldwide in places where there are speedy internet connections that allow easy access to users. I’m sure you’ll agree that Cloud storage is handy, especially for sharing large files and images. It’s definitely cost effective. However, unencrypted networks, faulty backup media and failed disk drives could expose confidential data.

When other people are in control of your data, however, there is always a risk involved. This is true, especially if employees have access to your storage account. They may not see the importance of keeping up to date with security measures.

Another thing to be aware of is how staff use cloud for storage. They shouldn’t put confidential data on personal cloud services without the company’s permission or awareness. The danger of that is data leaks and possible legal issues.

To increase security, always keep up to date backups, encrypt all of your data and use a reputable cloud provider.

 

Phishing scam is on the rise

If you’re not extra alert you can easily fall for these phishing scams. Have you had emails from companies pretending to be PayPay, your bank, insurance companies and other service providers? Many people have been fooled because the emails can look genuine. That is until you click on the link asking you to update your security information. Once you do that, you give cyber criminals access to your personal information such as bank details, passwords and credit card numbers.

They use clever tactics by telling you that an unauthorized or suspicious activity took place on your account. Or that your bank wants to verify customer records because your data deleted due to a technical error. They may even ask you to complete a customer survey and offer you a prize at the end of it. It all seems genuine. But if you fall for it, they will steal your money.

Also, you can be fooled into thinking a scam website is real. Especially if the website looks official. Clicking on the wrong link will expose your data to hackers.

You must protect your business with real-time monitoring systems.

 

Mobile apps can compromise your business

Mobile apps are great and can take a lot of stress from your business. However, don’t scrimp on money and buy cheap apps even if they give you higher speed. Lower quality is not always beneficial because they could have poor security. This will compromise your data to cyber criminals.

Some of the security dangers mobile apps can present are…

  • Insecure data storage, meaning if more than one user uses the app, data stored on it can be compromised. Data can be user names, passwords and personal information (date of birth, address, credit card and bank details).
  • Poor coding, allowing access to hackers to view confidential data. This happens while the data is exchanged and is travelling across the carrier network.
  • If the server of the app you use doesn’t have security measures, unauthorized users can access your data. Your server should also be secure.

 

To conclude, when it comes to your business, you must do all you can to protect your valuable data. Spending money to get top quality security is worth it. Otherwise, you will end up spending more if hackers steal your personal data. Repairing the damage won’t come cheap. It will cost you financial stress in the long run. You should also educate yourself about cyber criminals to keep on top of their tactics. Having the upper hand on your data security is a must.