Guest blog by Rense Buijen, Technical Director Trend Mico
Imagine that you are not at home the coming weekend; maybe you are visiting a friend or staying at your parents. Maybe you are on vacation, who knows. Now imagine that someone breaks into your home, ravages trough your personal belongings such as your photos, documents, maybe even the stuff of your kids. How does that feel?
What if I tell you that this may have already happened to you or that it is likely to happen to you in the future and that you may never find out about it. That’s scary but it’s a truth that most of us will have to start accepting and it has nothing to do with locking the physical front door of your house, it’s about rethinking how we share and protect our digital information that will make the difference.
We should care
Just as you do not want anyone going through your private documents and photos at home without your permission, you do not want someone stealing your digital belongings either. Why? Because it is just as private and ironically, sometimes, it is the same content.
So why do we often care so much about physical security but are careless when it comes to the exact same materials online or on our home computers? Because we underestimate the threat or because we put too much trust in the digital security of companies that use our data every single day.
We should care, if not for our own sake, we should care for the next generation where data storage, correlation and other usage will have increased exponentially.
Last year alone an astonishing number of records, more than 4.9 billion, were stolen by hackers because of data breaches, most of them containing our and maybe even YOUR private data.
We should be careful what information we share and more importantly, we should demand from the companies that we share our information with, that they protect it adequately. We have a responsibility. All of us.
Come GDRP in May of this year, companies will be under increased pressure to take their security more seriously and there will be strict laws about how a company has to react if they are breached and personal data is accessed, stolen or exposed. Non-compliance can lead to massive fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover.
Will these new regulations and increased awareness about the importance of safeguarding digital information be enough and can we look forward to a safer digital future? I do not know but as the late and great Stephen Hawking said; “The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities”