CyberCrime 2019 Event

CyberCrime 2019 – Tackling Mobile Privacy and Security

Friday 13 December, 2019

It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to present at the CyberCrime 2019 event this year, to some of the most eminent cybercrime experts from across the world. 

Mobile communication security and privacy has become one of the most important challenges the mobile industry has to tackle. It is only through understanding the true extent of the issue, that the most secure mobile and data features will become available. 

During the presentation, I spoke about why the issue of hacking and data theft has become so prominent. The answer is not a single factor. It could be seen that it just boils down to money – hackers can sell your information or use it to obtain money from third parties.

But, money is not the only driver behind data theft. Foreign, State run hacks have been seen to use your stolen data to help manipulate the general public of an overseas territories. Helping to sway the decisions they make, be it from either a socio or political view. This is the charge that has been alleged against Russia during the US elections of 2016. 

Billions to people’s data stolen

Many people think they are simply not a target for a data hack. This could not be further from the truth. I mentioned during my presentation the following figures:

  • 885 million records of the First American Financial Corporation were exposed because this data was stored on a publically available server. The information involved bank account details, social security numbers and wire transactions. Basically, if you were on the lists, a hacker might be able to access your bank account or even receive a credit using your credentials. 
  • 540 million Facebook users' records – or 146 gigabytes of data were exposed on an Amazon public server. 
  • Hackers had stolen 500 million records related to health insurance and security clearance from the Marriot. 

It really is worth bearing in mind that these are just 3 attacks out of the many thousands that take place annually, yet they affected almost 2 billion people. It is safe to say that you should definitely not presume that your sensitive data is not already in somebody’s hands. 

As an industry there is the glaring issue that hacking, data security and mobile privacy seems to be completely invisible to most people. This is something that, as an industry, should be tackled in order, as I said at the event, “to educate people and businesses of how data is used, and why it has turned into the most valuable commodity in the world. How is it mined, collected, and monetized in a huge unregulated and unseen market. How it is used in ways that are beyond our grasp sometimes, ways that were not seen before. What is the price you pay with every tracked click, and how you can opt-out and own your data”. 

As you can see, the complexity, frequency and severity of cybercrime is increasing and we all need to be playing our part in protecting our sensitive data. 

You can read the full Cyber Crime 2019 transcript from the event in our next article in the CyberCrime series.


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