The scale of data breaches in 2018 has been staggering. There have been 1,027 breaches reported with 57,667,911 records compromised as Nov. 2, 2018, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC).
“Hackers have become very nimble at outsmarting protection measures. Cybercriminals always seem to stay a step ahead of new security gates,” said Michael Bruemmer, vice president of Data Breach Resolution at Experian.
“We use the power of data to help businesses make the right decisions, and we issue our Data Breach Industry Forecast each year to give them a competitive edge. Our predictions look at where hackers may go next to exploit vulnerabilities so companies can safeguard themselves against these future threats.”
For consumers, knowing what to do if you become a victim of a data breach can make all the difference in protecting your data and your identity. Here are five data breach predictions for 2019:
- Biometric Hacking
Attackers will zero in on biometric hacking and expose vulnerabilities in touch ID sensors, facial recognition, and passcodes. Biometric data has been considered the most secure method of authentication, but it can be stolen or altered, and sensors can be manipulated and spoofed or deteriorate with too much use.
This is the next frontier for an enterprise-wide attack on a major financial institution’s national network, and it could result in millions of lost dollars. Credit card skimming uses hidden devices designed to steal card information and passcodes. Criminals are now going after bank networks, moving beyond attacking individual ATMs by loading malware into entire computer systems.
- Major Attack on Wireless Carrier
A major wireless carrier will be attacked with a simultaneous effect on both iPhones and Androids, stealing personal information from millions of consumers smartphones and possibly disabling all wireless communications in the United States. Similar to an attack on critical infrastructure, a serious disruption to a wireless network could halt business, government, and more.
- Cloud Breach
It’s a matter of when, not if, a top cloud vendor breach will occur, compromising the sensitive information of major companies. The only question is how long it will take hackers to go to the cloud, affecting the world’s largest companies and potentially billions of pieces of data.
The online gaming community will be an emerging hacker target, with cyber criminals posing as gamers and gaining access to the computers and personal data of trusting players. A cybercriminal can easily pose as a gamer or take over an avatar to infiltrate games and communities, stealing personal and credit card information and valuable game pieces and tokens.
Increasing Identity Theft Risk
Between 2005 and 2017, significant data breaches—the type that affected millions of users—rose from about 200 per year to more than 1,300, according to the ITRC. Billions of pieces of data have been exposed. That has made it easy for cybercriminals to monetize stolen data, which has, in turn, led to an increased risk of identity theft. Protecting consumer data and organizational network infrastructures from potential cyber threats is a day-in and day-out battle for companies. But the time has come for consumers to step up and take control of their digital identity.