The year 2016 has been a tumultuous year for Internet users all over the world. We saw the rise of ransomware as a formidable online threat. More vulnerabilities were found and exploited in infrastructures that banks employ to protect our money. Social engineering is becoming even more complex, and therefore more effective, especially when carried out on social media channels. These are some of the concerns that will surely keep us all busy throughout 2017.
But while we did take a few steps back in many areas of Internet safety and security, we did score a number of milestones in many others, especially when talking about cyber security and net neutrality. Below are some of the things that we are thankful for in cyber security and Net Neutrality in 2016:
Launch of formidable and innovative security software
This year we have seen the launch of several technologies that have the potential to make enforcing cyber security laws easier, from Veracode’s Runtime Protection, which “offers real-time protection for applications in production” to prevent app abuse and data loss, to the LookingGlass Cyber Guardian Network by the LookingGlass Cyber Solutions that allow partner users to react quickly to prioritized threats.
Other new players include: Menlo, which acts as anti-malware for web and email; SafeBreach, which continuously simulates hacker breach methods to validate security controls; Prevoty, which provides instant visibility and protection for applications; and Bastille, a software that provides security for enterprise Internet of Things deployments.
Stronger privacy concerns and awareness
Internet users are now more concerned about their privacy online. A study published by the National Cyber-Security Alliance in January revealed that only 56 percent of Americans trust businesses with their personal information. Overall, the study found that 92 percent of respondents are worried about their online privacy in some way.
Net Neutrality milestones
Net Neutrality is a principle that ISPs and state entities should treat all data on the Internet as the same, without charging differently depending on the user, the content consumed, and the platform used, among others. It prevents “fast lane” services and classifies Internet services as utilities rather than luxury goods.
June 2016 became a month to remember for supporters of Net Neutrality after US Internet service providers (ISPs) lost their lawsuit aimed at overturning the Net Neutrality rules set by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in court. This is good news for Internet users, especially those in the US, because access to the Internet remains democratized because of this milestone.
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