On December 11th, the New York Times confirmed that the 500 million person Marriott Hack had been traced to hacking teams working out of China. While cyber attacks from the eastern hemisphere are not a new phenomenon, the past 18 months have seen a huge risk in Chinese cyberespionage. This coincides with the ongoing trade war.
These attacks are in addition to the continuing cyber strikes against Democratic Party campaigns reported by Reuters. With no signs of the trade war abating, nor these attacks, it falls to citizens and businesses to take matters into their own hands. How this can be achieved, while maintaining necessary levels of data sharing, is another question.
Reverting to hard security
The digital age has seen wide scale adoption of wireless and cloud technologies. According to industry analysts, the cloud now holds over 1 exabyte of data – the equivalent of 67 million iPhones. This is where data is most vulnerable, as it can – theoretically – be accessed from any internet-connected device. Increasingly, businesses and consumers are turning to physical security; the use of physical portable memory cards and hard drives, favored by cryptocurrency miners, is a way to provide absolute security for data where it cannot be accessed online.
Pushing through legislation
Legislation is a huge part of guaranteeing future data security risk. California is a trendsetter in this regard; the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act will, through industry, force the average household to adopt much greater levels of data security and ultimately safeguard against cyber attacks. What may come in the future should further aid the country, and the state; GDPR is forcing movement and conversation with Silicon Valley, putting a brighter future on new efforts to legislate against cyber crime.
One of the major security risks that businesses and people impress upon themselves stems from siloing. Specifically, using a small number of services – thus making it easier for any one concerted attack. Palo Alto-based Facebook are a notable example of this, with a single bug causing 6.8 million accounts to be compromised in September. For businesses and consumers, consider using services that are tailored to your requirements.
Data security is a pressing national concern. Unfortunately, federal policy is exacerbating the state of affairs and making the threat worse for people and businesses. Taking control of your own circumstances, and turning to state legislation, will be an important step in protecting data.