Taking Data Security Seriously

By on February 22nd, 2019

We live in a day and age where data is the most valuable commodity, even more valuable than natural gas, oil, or most fine gems we desire. Over the past few decades, we have been hooked to the web and it has affected our lives for the most part. Social media is a great example how it has taken over our lives. Can you imagine when was the last time you didn’t care about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other popular social media channels these days? Almost everyone is hooked to their smartphones (or whatever smart gadget you own) that we become more concerned about our virtual lives rather than reality. We can’t help but feel pressured to keep up with the times to ease our fear of missing out #FOMO.

Cyber attacks are happening more often now because cyber criminals know very well how much money they can make from other people’s data. From using their information on various cases of fraud or holding other people’s data hostage during ransomware attacks that made it to the news quite recently, cybercriminals make a lot of bucks and it is expected to get worse over time as they learn to innovate and catch up to the technology used today. It’s the reason why you should not be lax about your security when using the web because the danger is real and one wrong move can put your data at risk.

CyberSecurity Malaysia has announced a new method to recover data for computers infected with the WannaCry ransomware attack.

This was revealed by CyberSecurity chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab, who credited the discovery of the method to efforts made by the Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT).

“MyCERT has conducted more than 30 trials. We are confident that this solution can recover a computer’s files to its original state.

“However, this data recovery method can only be used on computers infected with the WannaCry ransomware only. It cannot be used on other forms of Ransomware infections,” he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.

(Via: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/cybersecurity-reveals-data-recovery-solution-for-wannacry-attacks)

We may have found the kill switch for the WannaCry malware but it does not mean it’s no longer destructive. Individuals and groups whose devices have already been infected lost access to important files they need in their day-to-day and have no way to get it back. Even big organizations like hospitals had to go on a temporary hiatus as healthcare providers can’t access the computer making patients miss out on taking their medicines and treatments on time.

Of course the issue is not simply a lack of focus; it is a lack of understanding. Cyber security is without question the poster boy for any threat to business critical data, and is therefore where the majority of any available budget is channelled. However, is the available budget being spent wisely? Despite widespread perception, regulations such as DPA and GDPR are not about cyber security – they are about data security. 

Organisations need to understand their data resources. Different data types are subject to different levels of sensitivity and management requirements. Demands of data retention, update and deletion – already within DPA – are becoming ever more specific within GDPR. It is an understanding of the data lifecycle that should be defining the security strategy, not a knee-jerk response to the latest cyber attack.

(Via: http://www.itproportal.com/features/data-security-in-2017-wheres-the-proof/)

The world often forgets about data security when nothing untoward happens but when events like the WannaCry outbreak makes it to the headlines, companies and organization panic and reassess their data security management practices to determine if it can survive any ransomware attack. But there is so much more to handling data than meets the eye. Entrepreneurs and leaders should have a deeper understanding of the data lifecycle itself before shelling out money. The important thing is that consumers are safe all the time most especially their personal information saved on your system or risk exposing their data to malicious third-parties that will likely take advantage of it for monetary gain.

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