The year 2018 was host to dozens of data breaches that affected millions of records, according to a recent report from Terbium Labs. Breaches like Dixons Carphone (10 million records), marketing firm Exactis (340 million records), international airline Cathay Pacific (9.4 million records), Marriott's Starwood hotels (500 million records), and Quora (100 million records) are just a few that come to mind, the report said.
Both corporate data and personal information continue to be big targets for attackers, especially those attempting to commit acts of terrorism or financial crime. Many organizations feel as though attacks are inevitable, but with careful and consistent security measures, companies can stay safe, according to the report.
SEE: IT leader's guide to the Dark Web (Tech Pro Research)
In order to implement the most effective security measures, businesses must look at data like a commodity, with the same importance as intellectual party, equipment, and employees, the report found.
To help keep companies aware and vigilant, the report offers three predictions for 2019, focused on data compromise and safety:
- Increased pressure for federal data protection legislation: Major tech companies will push back against impending regulations that might affect their current fast-and-loose approach to data privacy, which will prove to be a long, tough road, the report found.
- More law enforcement attention on cybercrime: After the major indictments with Fin7 and InFraud, companies can expect law enforcement to increase attention on cyber crime fraud operations, especially given the heightened role of cyber crime in funding other international criminal enterprises, according to the report.
- Attacks on biometric and genetic records: In 2019, attackers will increasingly target biometric and genetic records, creating more mixed results in compromised data, the report predicted. This will open the concept of immutable "lifetime" data that can be exploited in data breaches the report.
To learn more about how to protect your sensitive data, check out this TechRepublic article for tips on staying safe when traveling for the holidays.
SEE: Brute force and dictionary attacks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The year 2018 saw dozens of sensitive data breaches affecting millions of records in all sectors of industries. — Terbium Labs, 2018
- In 2019, organizations can expect more federal data regulations, heightened law enforcement on cyber crime, and a focus on biometric and genetic records from attackers.
- Dark Web activities: 10 signs that you've been breached (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Your privacy is compromised, what are you going to do about it? (ZDNet)
- Dark Web: A cheat sheet for business professionals (TechRepublic)
- This dark web market is dedicated to compromising your emails (ZDNet)
- 82% of security pros fear hackers using AI to attack their company (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.