Consumers rely on companies to protect their data, mass quantities of which are collected every day across sensors, services, and devices. Credit card numbers, bank account information, social security numbers—they're all for the taking, and companies that don't protect customer data can now be made liable for data breaches, as Target learned when it agreed to pay out $10 million in damages for the 2013 breach that affected 40 million customers.
The number of large-scale data breaches in 2015 illustrates the potential for even more widespread offensives that could be orchestrated by determined attackers. These attacks have demonstrated an increasingly sophisticated approach, sometimes involving multiple attack vectors. 2016 will require extra vigilance and a new approach to defending organizations' target areas as security threats evolve..