How Businesses Can Combat Cybercrime and Win the 'Cyberwar'

Data protection and security concerns around mobile devices are two serious cybercrime issues businesses both large and small must realize, while already happening today, are going to become even more prevalent tomorrow. In addition, robots, far from being the stuff of science fiction, will be at the forefront of a new frontier for the hackers of the future.

It won’t come as any surprise that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will still apply even after Britain leaves the EU. From May 2018, there will be a requirement for corporations to notify data breaches to their national data protection authority. Data breaches are increasingly widespread and businesses, especially large corporations dealing with millions of customers and their data, may be subject to blackmail from where control of data is only returned on payment of huge ransoms. This is already a reality in the United States and it’s on the rise throughout Europe. Companies need to put the legwork in now to reduce the risk of this happening as the cost – both financial and reputational – is far too great.

Second, it is a common theme when speaking to our clients and security providers that mobile devices are simply not as safe or controlled as a desktop environment. This presents a new opportunity for hackers. There are “apps” that can take control of a mobile in seconds and users are not even aware that it is happening. An example of this was evident with the launch of “Pokémon Go”. As the game had not yet become available in the UK, consumers visited app stores, including unauthorized “grey app” stores, to access the game. As a result, different versions of the game were downloaded on some phone models which opened users up to a world of risks as hackers could very easily take control of their phone, access personal data stored on the phone, listen in to conversations, and even see what they are doing by activating the cameras. It is a scary new world.

Finally, the infiltration of robots will become more and more evident. They will be connected to the internet at home, at work and everywhere else in between. While there are many benefits of such evolving technologies, businesses cannot hide from the fact they will be the new frontier for hackers and could result in a ‘cyberwar’.

Ultimately, businesses need to work hard to combat cybercrime by putting the right preventative measures in place now to reduce the risk of breaches in the future and build a culture of trust in these new technology solutions.

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