For cybersecurity and data privacy, 2018 was not a great year. Some of the world’s largest companies found themselves a victim of countless and expensive data breaches, routers and connective devices that were found to be relatively safe were found to be vulnerable, and the accusations of foreign states and bad actors made reality seem like a plot straight out of a spy novel. Here’s what you need to know in 2019 about cybersecurity.
New legislation for data collection
California lawmakers have proposed a new law on the often-covert data collection scheme from which most tech firms make up a majority of their revenue. The 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act passed through the checks and balances of the law-making process in California and was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown and will enter into force by the end of 2019.This act opens up a number of protections for consumers to fight against unwanted collection of data. Protections such as requiring companies to disclose what kind of data they collect and to whom they sell it, the option for customers to opt out of data collection and company protection charging more for the product, and allowing businesses to buy the data in some way as a financial incentive for the person whose data they collect. This may not seem like a big deal if you’re not a state resident, but as most of the big tech firms are headquartered in California, the law could very well affect the rest of us.
Even more breaches and leaks
Last year marked an increase in data breaches and leaks, which is ironic as most data have not even been protected. Services ranging from retail memberships to gym memberships and social media, in one way or another almost every industry has been victim of a hack. This surge has strengthened public awareness of their potential vulnerabilities and encouraged awareness of better information security practices that are often ignored merely because of human error. Expect more attacks and more information to be exposed in 2019, as hackers do not show signs of stopping in the near future.But also expect people to start seeing the forest through the trees and take matters into their own hands instead of relying on the big box chains to protect information for us because it is clear that their systems have too many vulnerabilities and the only way to change is to change yourself.
Millions of people are now using private virtual networks, or VPNs, to encrypt their internet traffic and thus protect their personal data. Recent concerns about VPN providers ‘ state-sponsored ownership, however, have raised alarm bells in the US as well as abroad. As cybersecurity continues to play a key role in global politics and individual sovereignty, the demand for truly private VPN services that do not log user data is expected to increase in the market.
Keep watching this space for more.