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A New Lesson Pan In Cybersecurity

2017 was the year of the hacker! Uber, Equifax, and Yahoo are standing proof of the havoc malware as well as ransomware programs have wrecked in just one year. In fact, data breaches from our most beloved Facebook shows that nothing is sacred anymore. The moment we deem something safe and trustworthy, it goes onto show us an ugly side of the data world. Even with the thousands becoming a part of the #deleteFacebook movement, millions are logging in daily, sharing posts and sending messages via the social networking site.

This makes us question which group of people are smarter here – The ones who have already deleted their accounts from Facebook and possibly other social media platforms as well or the ones continuing to use it? In many cases, the current users understand that we are living in a world of big data. There is no escaping it. With big data come the more significant risks of data breaches. Thanks to the modern database cloud technologies it has become an inescapable part of our online existence.

How much should you exactly trust in 2018?

With the advent of 2018, a lot of people are nurturing a lot of high hopes about data safety and cybersecurity. This makes us wonder exactly how much will reach fruition and how many people will be disillusioned by the end of this new year? A lot of companies, social media sites, and customer-oriented services are taking drastic steps (including resigning CEOs from the time of the data leaks) to show their commitment towards better customer data security. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how their new database security measures will perform to please the already displeased throngs of users from across the globe.

There are very simple, yet not so comforting facts about cybersecurity and database security every web users need to recognize –

If your database has a weak spot, be ready for the hackers

It is a dog eat dog world in the realm of big data. While customers are enjoying the ease of accessing websites that readily provide them with product suggestions based on their behavior, one-click buying options and saved passwords for different accounts, they must also be aware that the information dwells on clouds that do not depend on their PC setup. The safety of your data entirely depends on the database setup and the backend management of the databases.

There are hackers in this world, who will hack everything that is hackable. This will include your contact details, account passwords, credit card and debit card pin. So, yes, nothing is safe anymore, even when you think you are saving your details just for your convenience.

Anything can be vulnerable

It is difficult to tell what is safe and what is not from the wrath of the hackers. 2018 is showing the uglier side of data vulnerability with state-sponsored hackings that are ravaging the beliefs of data privacy and user security. This also includes the safety of nations and their nuclear secrets. It is understandable that governments do not skimp when the question of national security arises, but it is quite apparent that the new age data hackers are coming with new training and new equipment, likely with the sponsorship of other governments to hack these secrets. Government intelligence organizations have been astonishing the spectators with their ability to hack everything on the cloud.

We have seen several data breaches up until 2016, but the events from 2017 make us wonder if the breaches were ever as bad as this. Companies and governments are spending millions per annum on new cybersecurity measures and defense strategies that are seemingly powerless against the new battalion of self-sponsored as well as state-sponsored hackers. For example – we have Uber, Netflix, and Target, who have millions of user data from across the world. Without the appropriate defenses against the hackers, the data is as good as naked for anyone’s taking.

However, the most staggering blow came in the dawn of 2018, when companies revealed that even our PCs and processors are not safe. For years, we have been storing a lot of personal data on our PCs and Laptop hard disk drives. Only this year, research revealed a debilitating weakness that can allow malicious software programmes and hackers to access all stored data.

Be very wary of every new software and innovation

With every innovation comes a new opportunity for hacking. This takes away a lot of joy from the world, but that is the harsh truth. Even when Tim Cook announces a new iOS or Bill Gates announces new software to combat data corruption, you must know in your heart to save some energy for the days when the hackers find a way to bypass the new security as well. The only way to potentially beat the hackers is to keep moving to a new platform before these malicious coders find a way through the back door.

Every database that exists today can have a fatal flaw in the backend. Without the correct database maintenance and data expert guidance, it is quite impossible to protect your precious data against hackers and ransomware. In the age of IoT, the importance of database security has become ever more important. In case you have a database that stores all your company information and your customer information, you should think about a competent database management service to keep updating the firewalls, encryptions and data structures.

We can understand why many companies still work with old database structures and older models of security. The cost of upgradation can be challenging for businesses, and sometimes, entrepreneurs have to choose between their business process upgradation and database updates. Well, in that case, you can always try the service of remote database administration services. They act just like in-house DBAs, but from a distance. They are also a lot less impeding on the business budget. To check out how remote database maintenance and management service can help you, check out remotedba.com.

There is nothing left for us to trust

Phishing scams, DoS attacks (Denial-of-service attack), Brut force attacks, everything has gone on to show that there is nothing left for human users to trust anymore. Although, by nature, human beings are prone to trust almost every provider and service, the ongoing data breaches proof that there is nothing we can trust. It is so easy to simply close our eyes and relax once we install a $25 anti-virus program. We believe (as per the documentation mostly) that this anti-virus will be able to protect us from the worst of worst attacks. Well, it is time to wake up then. There is no chance that these anti-virus programs will keep our PCs or our data in the cloud safe from ransomware wielders and scammers.

In reality, a huge portion of our society stands on trust, and a majority of world relations depend on trust as well. Thus, eliminating the element of trust from our daily technological and networking lives is quite implausible. However, this makes us the most vulnerable to repeated cyber attacks. While people are not very fast learners, the hackers surely are. They move from one platform to the next version and one database encryption to the next with ease. Their ability to adapt to new environments and hide among the functioning codes makes them even more difficult to spot. We know it sounds quite strange when we say we need to overcome our tendencies to trust software and their vendors automatically, but overcoming this inherent proclivity towards trust will, of course, help us eliminate a lot of basic cybersecurity risks from our lives.

The point of the story – trust nothing, keep updating your database

You must remember that there is no way you can stay away from the threats and the hacks unless of course, you are a 21stcentury caveman or a hermit or both. Modern life commands the use of the latest technologies including IoT devices like Alexa (with her creepy laughter), Siri and Cortana, even your FitBit falls under this category (have you ever thought how the hackers could get a hold of your medical records?). The occasional cochlear implants belong here as well. Living without our smartphones is impossible. Android users and Windows users have been facing threats for a long time. Quite recently, research of the malware and hacking tools have revealed that even iOS devices might be at risk. Nonetheless, whenever you feel too tempted to trust a new device or a new OS or a new software tool that you have found on the web, always refer to fact #1.

The only way to defend yourself is by accepting these facts and accepting that our trusting nature makes us more vulnerable to these threats. Therefore, you need to start thinking like the hacker, who could benefit from these data hacks to be successfully able to stop them before their attacks.

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Sujain Thomas
Sujain Thomashttp://www.remotedba.com/
SUJAIN is a data IT professional who works closely with DBA experts to provide her clients with fantastic solutions to their data problems. If you need data IT solutions, she is the person for the job. She has contributed articles on business2community.com, sociable.co and many more.

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