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Cybersecurity in 2018

By Ric Cahak | February 14, 2018
Cybersecurity is a constant challenge for almost all organizations, including those requiring interaction data recording and storage. Many data breeches and malware attacks have made news over the past few years, and IT professionals have become diligent in addressing these intrusions. It appears that the trends for cybercrime will continue in 2018, and the challenges to prevent it will remain a high priority.

Ransomware
Ransomware became a $1 billion-dollar industry last year and continues to claim high profile victims. The growing use of ransomware is a trend that will likely continue to gain notoriety in 2108. Cyber criminals are realizing a profitable “revenue stream” and will grow more reliant on worm functionality (e.g. WannaCry and Trickbot) to install their malware. For companies that use an interaction recording and storage system to capture and store data, ransomware may be more easily managed. Regular frequent data backup and timely updates should be standard procedures for these applications. These proactive steps can help in combating ransomware and maintain defense mechanisms needed to prevent worm attacks.

IOT is Vulnerable
The use of sensors and internet-connected devices to capture useful information is not without its risks. Often devices used for the Internet of Things lack even basic security features or are used with default passwords and configurations, leaving them open to botnet attacks. The benefits of gaining more data quickly must be balanced with effective security features that protect not only the data but devices on the network as well.

AI & Machine Learning Boost Cyber Defense
Threat detection is tedious, repetitive work that is often performed by a staff of security experts. Looking ahead, much of this work will be giving way to automation. By taking advantage of machine learning tools and filtering alerts to highlight true threats, AI provides a way to lighten the load for staff, as well as to leverage constrained resources for better coverage. It must be noted, however, that these tools have their limitations, such as the inability to recognize a new type of attack. Even so, this type of cybersecurity automation is highly effective in covering known threats, and frees the staff to address new threats.

One example is the current rule creation dictating recording or omission of sensitive information. Currently this primarily performed manually. The application of machine learning tools for this kind of rule creation is an excellent step in the right direction for threat assessment.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The European Parliament adopted GDPR in April 2106 with a compliance deadline of 25 May 2018. This regulation requires businesses to the protect personal data and privacy of European Union citizens for transactions that occur in their 28 states. The regulation sets high standards for how personal data is processed, stored and secured. However, the definitions give regulators latitude when auditing for compliance.  While the GDPR impacts organizations operating in the EU or processing data from it, the regulation should not be ignored by data management organizations in other regions. The laws will apply to any company that processes and holds the personal data of individuals residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.

GDPR implements protections for the following data:
 
  • Basic identity information such as name, address and ID numbers
  • Web data such as location, IP address, cookie data and RFID tags
  • Health and genetic data
  • Biometric data
  • Racial or ethnic data
  • Political opinions
  • Sexual orientation

It is likely that these new standards of protection will influence requirements in the U.S. as well.

HigherGround's development plans for our interaction recording and storage platforms are accounting for these cybersecurity trends as a part of the larger picture.

Over the next few weeks we'll be looking into specific cybersecurity trends across various industry verticals. As we dive deeper, we'd love to hear your thoughts on how cybersecurity will continue to impact the way we do business in the future.

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About the Author - Ric Cahak leads HigherGround's service and support operations and oversees the development of new products and technological advancements. He previously worked with AT&T as both Manager of Operator Services and Sales Manager, and with the William Morris Agency as Telecommunications Director. Click here for more information on Ric and the rest of the HigherGround team!
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.