2014 was the year of the hacker. They infiltrated websites, spread personal photos of celebrities and even stopped a film being widely released in cinemas. They arguably had more effect on the west than any traditional terrorism.
With the Sony hack before Christmas, we saw the damage that could be done with a computer and somebody with the knowledge to infiltrate systems. It broke open relationships within the movie industry and potentially lost one of the biggest film makers million of dollars.
What it also did, which could prove to be the most damaging aspect of the hack, is that it was largely covered by the media and spread around the internet.
This made it potentially damaging to the wider business community as they now know that they are potentially vulnerable to similar attacks.
Rumours of who perpetrated the attacks are rife, with many claiming that North Korea were at the centre, whilst reports have cast doubts on this and instead pointed to a set of former employees. However, those who committed the hack has little relevance to the impact it will have on the overall business impact.
This could see the way that people collect and store information change as they don’t want to have certain information leaked. Simply changing security seems to have an impact on how easily hackers can access data, but we have seen that even companies who take security seriously are still vulnerable to attacks.
So will this see cloud based services become second choice to closed in house systems?
We have seen a move to more accessible and therefore more useful servers, but this kind of news that has had a significant impact across the world, may see a regression. At the very least, we are likely to see increased siloing of certain data to keep it segregated from a the more widely used data sets within a company.
This may not be something that effects every company, but could have a significant impact on the data that is held and therefore the accuracy of data sets as a whole. With certain data not being held, even if it seems inconsequential to data sets and analysis’ it can have a profound effect in the long term.
Hopefully this will not be the case and we will see a maintenance of data growth and the improved accuracy in reporting. However, the hack of companies similar to those we have seen in 2014 will not fill people with confidence.