Unlocked padlock on a keyboard.

The protection of data, networks and digital security is one of the most important issues facing our modern world. With so much of our lives and personal information stored online, companies must put in place the strongest methods of preventing data and tech-related theft. However, the ever-changing digital landscape means thieves can take advantage of new loopholes and software issues. IT security as we know it must drastically change in order to mitigate against new threats.

With an increased number of cyberattacks happening each day across the world, the Biden administration has begun to take notice. The US government has launched a series of enquiries into ‘cyber hygiene’, with a particular intent to stop the spread of ransomware. Congress has recently debated whether reporting cyber-attacks and digital security breaches should become mandatory for private businesses. This would allow the government to have knowledge and understanding of the volume and type of cybercrime companies are facing in order to spot patterns and trends.

Microsoft also has begun refocusing on computer security after seeing a mass scanning of computer systems by potential cyber criminals. Whilst the company assured the public that security researchers were identifying compromised systems, one of the world’s biggest technology companies cannot afford to have any data leakage, as the stakes are so high.

New research also shows hackers can use lasers to attack computers. Whilst this sounds like an unrealistic scene from a Hollywood film, this new method of hacking has been found as part of a study surrounding hidden communication. Lasers pointed through keyholes can image an entire room and possibly even transfer data through the beams in order to disrupt the working computer systems.

So how can we protect ourselves and our employees in the new digital landscape?  Whilst there is no clear-cut answer to this issue, there are steps we can take to secure ourselves against the threat of hacking. Whilst creating strong passwords is a great first step, this alone cannot mitigate against hacking software, particularly if a device like a mobile phone has been stolen. Hackers can often use password-hacking software that scans the internet for any traces of you, creating password combinations from this information. This is why it is so important to minimise the amount of information about yourself that is available online.