Data Security

“hack that affected 57 million customers and drivers worldwide”

In our ever-changing fast paced world we live in, there is always a new threat out there to avoid. As we delve even further into the tech age, we find ourselves having to evolve and adapt our thinking to compensate for an array of potential attacks. The internet and computing present us with a lot of these new threats. As we progress into the decade we have seen a multitude of important data breaches hit our headlines, all detailing the mass leakage of people’s personal data. Many of these headlines feature multi-million-pound companies who have seemingly been collecting our data over the past years via a multitude of methods, whether its subjecting you to signing up for unwanted weekly newsletters, or you willingly signed up to an account with said company.

Globally the USA tops the list of biggest data breaches within the last two years, with the UK closely following behind. The amount of data breaches from within these two countries has been steadily increasing year on year,and with heavy punishments for the organizations and the individuals responsible for these breaches, data security is increasingly becoming more and more important.

2016 saw UBER, an American cab company that has seen worldwide success, fall victim to a concealed hack that affected 57 million customers and drivers worldwide, with 2.7 million people in the UK being affected. Names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers all fell foul of Ubers data hack in an event that should have been prevented by a multi-million pound company. With this type of large scale attack on a large-scale company, the consequences can be high for users of these companies and services. Every attack helps develop new security measures, but currently the adaptation rates may not be quick enough to keep up.

Data hacks are not only susceptible to a digital leak and large corporations, but also data leaks that can happen from an individual representing an organization. Recently in the UK, Police forces have found themselves at the forefront of data leaks, and have felt the full brunt of the punishment and fines for such leaks.

A report by the group Big Brother Watch has revealed the number of data breaches at police forces around the UK. The greatest number of data breaches were by the West Midlands Police (488), followed by the Surrey Police (202), Humberside Police (168), and Avon and Somerset Police (163). Many of these cases did not result in any further action being taken, but as we see more and more of these leaks, it seems the punishments are becoming more and more unforgiving, resulting in a very steep learning curve for many. Data protection was introduced in 1998 to combat the storage of people’s personal information on computers from third parties. The data protection act has stayed relatively unchanged since 1998, but with an increase of cyber-attacks and a perhaps relaxed attitude towards data, this is all due to change.

As of the 25th of May 2018, the government are introducing new rules and regulations behind the storing of people’s data. As a company it is important you are up to date and complying with the new regulations set to take place in May. There are many tools and websites out there to help increase people’s knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done at a business end of things.