In the world of IT security, 2013 was made notorious by the increase in cyber threats, the sophistication of hackers and the amount of data breaches. With the prevalence and severity of these attacks in mind, businesses and individuals alike added “better IT security measures” to their list of New Year’s Resolutions.
If IT security didn’t make it on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, consider the recent Snapchat hack. Snapchat is a photo messaging application whereby users are able to add text and drawings to photos or recorded videos that can then be shared amongst a controlled list of recipients. The critical feature enjoyed by Snapchat users is the ability to set a time limit for recipients to view these photos/videos.
The popularity of Snapchat served as the catalyst for both its success and failure. This case is particularly interesting for three reasons. Firstly and ironically, Snapchat was a self-proclaimed secure application to share photos and videos. Secondly, and perhaps even more ironically, Gibson Security, a group of white hat hackers, warned Snapchat that their lack of security measures could easily lead to the exploitation of Snapchat users’ data. And finally, once the Snapchat database had been successfully hacked, the hackers published a redacted version of the data online.
Though there have been no reported cases of identify theft or criminal activity that can be traced back to this particular data breach, it is important to heed the advice of security experts. Ian Goldberg, associate professor with the University of Waterloo’s Cryptography, Security and Privacy group stipulates that the users who download the latest apps considering the security of their personal information are particularly vulnerable.
Don’t let 2014 be the year you facilitated a corporate data breach or had your identity stolen. Implementing convenient security measures, such as HOB RD VPN, can make all the difference by providing secure remote access to all applications and data.
What are you doing to secure your personal and work data? Let us know in the comments!
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