Know Your Security Loopholes to Outsmart Lurking Cyberthreats

Co-authored by Pallavi Yerram.

Joanna loves to access her mobile devices to complete all her work, buy groceries for her home and conduct myriad other daily activities. But recently, she found that someone else had gained access to her credit card details. How did it happen and what will she do now?

Like Joanna, most of us use our mobile phones for everything nowadays. If we haven’t fallen prey to cyberthreats, we’re merely lucky. It’s crucial to identify security loopholes in mobile applications. How can we ignore continuous incidents on security issues in thousands of applications that can affect us severely? Wouldn’t it be smart to know the security loopholes to avert them?

Identify Your Security Loopholes

Technology is a double-edged sword capable of making life easy and difficult at the same time. More than a billion emails, credit card numbers, passwords and the like were compromised last year alone. Imagine the havoc wrought on those people who were caught in the process.

Phishing attacks that involve entire organizations are even scarier. That’s why more than 10 percent of Asia-Pacific IT budgets will be channeled into building proactive intelligent systems to combat emerging cyberthreats, according to IDC.

Personally identifiable information (PII) tops the list of most coveted information and represents a juicy new target for cybercriminals. The health care industry alone lost 193.4 million personal records in 2015. With the health care industry moving towards connected care, these threats are sure to grow.

Secure Your Infrastructure

The health care industry is not the only target. The Ashley Madison incident of 2015 is one extreme example of how a breach can affect the daily lives of people. Data breaches and leaks are all pervasive. This was evident when millions of were stolen from VTech and Hello Kitty.

As the economy moves towards hyperconnectivity, cybercriminals are finding more opportunities to grow bigger and more sophisticated in their attacks. A secured infrastructure is the need of the hour to avoid future mishaps.

Given the rate at which these threats are adapting and getting creative, the digital storm is not likely to end soon. The breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which affected more than 22 million people, was shocking due to the kind the information attackers were able to access — including security clearances and fingerprints.

Better Safe Than Sorry

All security breaches can be classified under three distinctive themes: privacy in a digital world, cracks in the foundation and lack of security fundamentals. Even today, those fundamentals play a huge role in mitigating a breach.

The most common cause of a data breach, even for the most sophisticated attacks, is poor password hygiene. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so enterprises need to enact strict rules and robust security awareness trainings for employees. Keeping an eye on the security threats and understanding ways to avoid them also goes a long way.

Security depends on your ability to detect and respond to lurking threats. A little security will save you a lot of time, money and energy. It will also lead to brand loyalty and a sparkling, growing future.

Visit the IBM X-Force Interactive Security Incident (ISI) tracker for in-depth information on current security events and a historical perspective on how the threat landscape has evolved.

Visit the security incident tracker now

Share this Article:
Preeti Sahu

External Relations Specialist, IBM

Preeti Sahu supports Security and Global Technology Services business units at IBM as an External Relations Specialist and is responsible for churning out high quality content for the team in various formats. Her current role involves creating, editing and repurposing assets like press releases, blogs, executive announcements, byliners, social content etc to name a few. Her educational qualification includes MBA in Communications Management from Symbiosis International University and B.E. from Biju Patnaik Technical University. She has over seven years of professional experience spanning technology and communications.