The scale and sophistication of global cyber-attacks in 2017 had company executives wringing their hands. The Internet of Things (IoT) has brought more concerns for security. Connectivity is increasing faster than companies are addressing security loopholes, and experts predicted more vulnerabilities would open up after 2016. They were not wrong.

But in the wake of these cyber-attacks and privacy violations, some important lessons were learned. There was greater awareness in 2017 and more action was taken. Security experts say that while cyber-criminal gangs are becoming more unpredictable, organizations must prepare for the unknown. What is most needed is the flexibility to withstand potentially devastating security events.

Information Privacy

For-profit mining of information that has not been authorized for use is a concern for consumers. Consumers store a lot of information in online shopping profiles, cloud services, and email accounts. Companies extract information from these profiles to present more targeted ads. Some people don’t mind being shown ads more in tune with their interests. But a growing number of people are uneasy with the mining of personal information that has not been actively shared.

When company security breaks down and puts these profiles at risk, individual consumers will be more eager for information privacy. Rising demands have led to the growing presence of user-disguise technology and network protections. These technologies reduce traces that individuals leave online without their knowledge.

Personal Autonomy Over Data

More and more consumers are starting to take the matter of their privacy and security into their own hands, with the help of private clouds. The technology of private clouds is becoming more user-friendly. In such a setup, the customer’s hard drive is connected to a router on their premises. The data on the hard drive can be safely accessed with any approved device.

Personal clouds provide the privacy that storing data on a public cloud with big time security companies clearly did not. Blurry laws of ownership of information on public clouds in most states led to data mining and other intrusions that the private cloud eliminates. There is growing demand for private storage and clearly, security technology is quickly moving towards personal control and autonomy.

Information Security

Cyber security expenses are on the rise, as no company is completely safe on the Internet, not even Yahoo!, LinkedIn, and the IRS. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reported $445 billion is spent yearly on cyber security around the world. Small businesses have been the earliest in adopting security measures against threats. But big corporations are realizing now that they are not invincible. Efficient new IoT environments must also be protected with greater security. Cyber criminals are evolving at a fast rate, and it is necessary to be prepared for unexpected attacks.

Overall, there has been a great shift in demand towards privacy and security in 2017. There is a growing demand for better security solutions to personalize data protection and ownership. Companies and individuals can’t afford to be naive or careless about security any more.

If you’re waiting to set up your cyber security program, don’t. Contact us to get a program in place now.