Cyber security threats were a constant source of anxiety for business owners, hospitals and IT departments in the last year. Digital security platforms had little success against hackers and other threats as data breaches seemed commonplace. For the better part of the past year, cyber thieves were a step ahead of their targets. Companies will have the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and shore up their defenses, because when it come to data security, there is good news and bad news ahead.
First, the bad news
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that these dangers will disappear any time soon. Data threats take the form of anything from individuals on a laptop committing petty larceny to state-based hackers hoping to upset the geopolitical balance of power. Organizations like the CIA will attempt to find and dissolve these malicious groups, but it won't happen overnight – if ever. In the meantime, it will be up to organizations to take a defensive stance.
Forbes noted that data threats dominated 2014 – a trend that will likely continue in 2015. Over 40 percent of companies underwent a data breach of some type in the last year, while certainly scores more breaches were successfully defended against.
Hackers introduced measures like the Heartbleed Bug to reveal encryption keys and leave vulnerable sensitive data. Other bugs like Shellshock give hackers the keys to a network, allowing them to disable systems, steal information or install malware. Experts found that this type of threat was "wormable" – meaning a few bugs could multiply and spread across the Internet automatically.
Now, the good news
The situation may sound hopeless, but it isn't. Security techniques are gaining momentum and organizations are learning that they are never safe from a cyber attack. As a result, more companies are examining their options when it comes to data security.
According to Security Info Watch, access control will be the primary method to defend against cyber threats. There are a variety of techniques involved in access control, but the best involves a comprehensive plan centered around biometric security.
Biometrics use an individual's unique physical characteristics to provide security clearance. It doesn't rely upon passwords, keys or wireless devices – only a fingerprint reader and a corresponding print. That means hackers will be unable to force entry into a data center holding hard drives full of sensitive information without the proper identification. In this way, organizations will have total access control from the front door to the server cabinet and be well on their way to effective cyber security.