Cyber security and privacy are two important things to watch out for in 2015 because hackers are becoming smarter as technology continues to get better and infiltrate our lives more thoroughly.

There have been plenty of recent epidemics that have put network security top-of-mind for businesses of all sizes. In 2014 alone, there were several well-documented security risks related to both cyber security and privacy making national news headlines on a regular basis. From Target to Heartbleed to Sony, hackers are finding new ways to make commit cybercrime, and even more ways will surface in 2015.

Cyber security threats and known breaches of cyber security have gotten a fair amount of press in the past year, and that has gotten the attention of the President, who will soon propose a new cyber-security bill designed to promote cooperation and information-sharing between the private sector and federal government, asking private entities to share information about potential cyber threats with Homeland Security and other agencies within 30 days of learning about a breach.

The future of cyber security is serious business.

There is more technology than ever, and thus, more ways for hackers to gain access to personal information than ever before. It’s not just about cracking passwords anymore. Below are some cyber security and privacy risks to watch out for in 2015.

The Internet of Things

Recently, we wrote at length of efforts you can take to protect yourself from the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT stands for the interconnectivity of everyday physical objects, such as home appliances, wearables and vehicles to the internet. The IoT presents several unique security challenges, and is considered by experts to be vulnerable, with security sacrificed in the name of convenience. The future of cyber security starts with securing the Internet of Things.

Increases in Cyber Theft

Cyber theft was widespread in 2014, and that is unfortunately expected to continue in 2015. There is even more opportunity for cyber theft in 2015, thanks to the rise of mobile payments, which are becoming more common and convenient. Pin and Chip technology, representing a more secure landscape for credit card users are still several years away in the US.

It’s more important than ever for retailers to provide a secure data environment to house customer payment information, as there is a black market eager to get its hands on new credit card data.

Insecure Passwords

Passwords are dying a slow death, to be replaced by something much, much more secure. Exactly what is that? It’s still up to interpretation and imagination. While this is old-school, hackers can still have a field day with insecure passwords, as evident by the recent attack on iCloud.

Password recovery mechanisms are increasingly being taken advantage of. Thanks to social media, it’s not entirely difficult for a determined hacker to find out your mother’s maiden name, favorite sports team or the high school you attended through a simple scan of your Facebook profile.

Companies should always store customer information in a secure environment, and individuals should be aware that secure passwords and answers to password reset questions are always better than something that is easy to remember or look up.

The future of cyber security starts in 2015. This year will continue to bring unique cyber-security threats, and the next big thing could be the next worst thing around the corner.

How does your business stack up against cyber security threats in 2015? ThrottleNet can perform a full network assessment to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and can also provide your company with anti-virus solutions as part of our Managed Network services. Learn more today!