Security in Review for 2015

It’s now heading to the end of December and we’re on the way to approaching the last holiday before the start of the new year. As the end of 2014 begins to come to an end, predictions are starting to come in when it comes to what businesses can expect in the upcoming year.

Security is Tops

Security is of course on the minds of every CEO and management team within a company, especially those in IT management. With the data breaches of several companies during the last half of 2014, along with Sony’s second hacking scandal, network security trends are just one of the many lists that experts are putting together. Verizon is just one such company that is predicting that more enterprises and businesses are going to put security on top of their 2015 lists. Network reliability is becoming a bigger target for businesses, thanks in part of the increase of big data, mobility connectivity, and video solutions, it’s important for businesses to prove their scalability and the increase of devices and information that are coming from both their employees and their clients.

Reliability is chief for businesses who are trying to protect themselves from cybercrime – security attacks have been on the rise since 2013, increasing by 48% in 2014. And while businesses do have to worry about outside hacking incidents, it’s actually inside incidents that businesses should be very worried about; hacking incidents that have been perpetrated by current employees have increased by 4% to 35% from 2013, while incidents from former employees have gone up from 27% to 30%.

The problem with this is businesses aren’t keeping up with these trends, as spending for secur ity has actually fallen.

What Businesses Should Look for in 2015

Cyber security and hacking should be the foremost concern for businesses. In light of this year ’s hacking scandals, ending with Sony’s recent issues, cybersecurity is going to take focus in 2015. Arecentstudy by FortiGuard Labs showed that black hat hackers are becoming more sophisticated when it comes to getting into company data. Destructive malware that allows for hackers to infiltrate systems, gather data, and then erase information will be able to help hackers cover their tracks after the deed ha s been done.

Also with the emergence of hacks like Heartbleed and Shellshock, the focus is now on server side vulnerabilities and exploitation, a trend that will continue into 2015 as we become more connected with the Internet of Things.

So what can businesses do to protect themselves and their clients? Firstly, companies need to educate employees when it comes to protecting data, especially in an increasing age of bring your own devices; as mentioned earlier, businesses are often a target due to insider mishaps with employees, such as when they share passwords or don’t use secure passwords for their devices or work. Reports from the Sony hacking showcased that the company had a folder of passwords that was encrypted with the simple phrase of ‘password’, one of the least secure passwords anyone can have on their account. Employees are often unconcerned about security when it comes to their computers or accounts while at work, often irritated or annoyed at the constant changing of passwords to the point where they will just use any password that comes to mind, regardless if it’s secure or not.

Obviously, putting the budget to insure that data security is up to par is another consideration to be aware of. In the case of both Home Depot and Sony, suspicious incidents were not looked into nor were steps taken to increase network security after smaller incidents have occurred. Analysts have stated that in light of these bigger attacks that companies still aren’t doing enough or aren’t doing anything at all to insure information is secure or that data is unable to be retrieved outside of allowed parameters.

As we become more and more connected with the Internet and as businesses merge with personal lives, it’s extremely important that businesses are taking the steps needed to protect the company and their clients’ data.