We’re not even halfway through the year and 2016 is already one of the most notable of the decade for cybersecurity in the United States. From government intervention to small security breaches, the news has been flooded with stories that has us second guessing our own security and questioning what the future may hold for digital privacy.
What’s happening in our digital world matters and has a direct impact in our lives. To catch you up on the latest in 2016, here’s what’s going on in the U.S. and how it might affect your future.
Apple vs. FBI
This is one of the biggest news stories of the year, cybersecurity or not, and it all started with last year’s tragic shooting spree in San Bernardino, California. After the attack, the FBI recovered an iPhone that belonged to one of the purported shooters, but was unable to access its contents due to an enabled passcode. With no other way to access potentially crucial information, the FBI asked Apple to unlock the phone with custom-made, “master key” software, with the tech giant famously refusing.
It wasn’t that Apple wasn’t willing to help with the fight against terrorism — CEO Tim Cook expressed his commitment to help federal law enforcement — but Apple knew a master key to unlock this one iPhone could potentially fall into the wrong hands and put every iPhone user on the planet in danger.
The FBI eventually dropped its case against Apple and went elsewhere to try and crack the phone. But the case is just the beginning of how government weighs Americans’ digital privacy.
Social Engineering and Physical Breaches
As digital security improves, criminals are going back to the basics in the pursuit of data. The first method is social engineering, where a criminal could call your office posing as an IT employee for your company and asking for information that will grant them access into the company’s systems.
The second is a physical breach. Companies that use local servers and storage may have ironclad security from outside digital forces, so criminals are physically breaking into offices to steal or tamper with equipment. While these are persisting issues, they’re not difficult to prevent. You can stop social engineering by properly training employees so they can spot red flags. Such physical breaches are prevented with a security and camera system in your office.
The Presidential Election
It’s not the most public discussion among the presidential candidates, but encryption, cyber security and surveillance are hot button items among voters. Technology blog Gizmodo breaks down the stances of each candidate and their views on these issues.
While there’s no way to know for sure how each candidate will treat these issues in office, it is a hope they make it part of their top agenda.
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