I encourage you to re-think any trust you might have, because the next wave of cybervictims will be those whose stored information has been taken, deleted or modified. While data and privacy have been top concerns for consumers and businesses whenever a data breach event has taken place, you can add “security” as a new and emerging problem.

Recent news articles and one major research report have everyone talking, including the United States intelligence community, cybersecurity experts and health-care executives. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned of evolving cyberthreats in written testimony presented to the House Subcommittee on Intelligence last week. “Most of the public discussion regarding cyberthreats has focused on the confidentiality and availability of information; cyberespionage undermines confidentiality, whereas denial of service operations and data deletion attacks undermine availability,” said Clapper said. “In the future, however, we might also see more cyberoperations that will change or manipulate electronic information in order to compromise its integrity (i.e., accuracy and reliability) instead of deleting it or disrupting access to it.” He said, "Decision making by senior government officials (civilian and military), corporate executives, investors, or others will be impaired if they cannot trust the information they are receiving.”

If Clapper’s comments are not enough, a new report by KPMG confirms what most of us have already suspected, that our personal data held by hospitals and health insurance companies is extremely insecure and that 81 percent of hospitals and health insurance companies suffered a data breach in the past two years. And finally Gemalto, an international digital security firm, released its results of the latest Breach Level Index  report that looks at the state of global breaches for the first six months of 2015. The BLI tracks and rates data breaches globally based on type of data and number of records stolen, source of the breach, and whether or not the data was encrypted.

According to the Gemalto report, “Identity theft remained the most popular type of breach and accounted for 75 percent of all records compromised and 53 percent of data breaches in the first half of 2015. Government and health-care sectors accounted for about two-thirds of compromised data records. The retail sector saw a drop in the number of stolen data records. They accounted for 4 percent, compared to 38 percent for the same time last year.” What does all this mean and why is it important? Consumers and businesses are doing more and more business online. Nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population shops online, and half of consumers and businesses bank online.

However, websites, databases and our personal information are constantly under attack. Some 71 percent of consumers feel it is up to the organizations that they have relationships with to ensure the protection of their information, making website security a top priority for many businesses. Whether you are a business trying to protect your brand reputation or a consumer trying to protect your personal health information, you expect your information to be safe and secure.

Mark's Most Important: Be aware that your stored information is more at risk than ever and may not even be trustworthy as cybercriminals are now focusing on stealing, manipulating and deleting it.

Mark Pribish is vice president and ID-theft practice leader at Merchants Information Solutions Inc., an ID theft-background screening company based in Phoenix. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This article was originally published on AZcentral.com and republished with the author's permission.

Merchants Information Solutions is a proud sponsors and provides financial support to the ITRC. For more information on the ITRC’s financial support relationships please see our sponsorship policy

 

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