As we have seen last year, not just major attacks led us to be vulnerable. It turned out that some of the big data leaks could have been easily prevented by simple security measures. The fact that there was so much attention for these attacks and leaks, made us all aware of the risks we face. I, for one, am glad that there was that much attention for it.
We, the Internet industry, have been warning for years about the need for a good cybersecurity policy within organisations. Since we become more and more reliable on data, the need for good protection is paramount because we have a lot more to lose. With just one phishing e-mail, you could lose everything.
Since last year, organisations have made security a bigger priority. Not just by implementing technical solutions, but also by making their co-workers aware of the risks there are out there. Because no matter how good technology can protect us, if we still use ‘password’ as our password for multiple sites and systems, it will not help.
Also, and the idea of this paragraph is to let you exhale a “Duh!” sound: we need to be aware of the risks of using social media. It is nice that you share pictures while you are on holiday – and upload them via the free, unencrypted Wi-Fi-connection at the hotel – but be aware that everybody can see them and therefore knows you are not home. Not to mention the fact that hackers can piggyback on that Wi-Fi-connection and get access to any personal information you happen to send or receive.
The General Data Protection Regulation that coming into effect this May, forces organisations to do more about data protection. If they don’t comply, the fines can get real high. But even the GDPR cannot replace common sense when it comes to cybersecurity. That is something we all have to use.
If 2017 was all about cyberattacks and cybersecurity, 2018 should be all about data protection. With the GDPR it might be that we get a new incentive to do more about data protection. But it is still up to you. Maybe then the news reports of data breaches will fade away.