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Identity is Security: The Price of a Data-Driven World

Can you confidently say that you know where your personal data lives? Do you know what apps have permission to use your data? As consumers, we tend to over-extend permission to our data without realizing it. A Kaspersky report out this week found that hackers are selling entire digital identities – including social media profiles and Netflix accounts – for $50. You may be wondering: why so cheap if the data is so valuable? Unfortunately, it’s because there is so much data available.

The vulnerability of our identities has come into full view this week as HSBC bank was breached by way of “credential stuffing.” In this case, getting access to an identity from another breach was what made access to HSBC possible – something that is becoming more common. This is yet another reminder that we need to use unique passwords across all accounts.

Exploiting a single identity can give hackers access to something of value. It could be your personal information, or more. Perhaps it’s accessing an account that would allow a hacker to access drone footage. Or finding a way to control medical devices, as a report pointed out this week. The more connected (and interconnected) our world becomes, the more opportunities for exploitation there are.

The reality is that just about everyone has data living somewhere, and the number of people accessing it – whether you want them to or not – is only growing. As the world becomes even more digital, expect data to continue to play a critical role in the way we live every day.