«Nowadays attackers can hack into every fourth Wi-Fi network in Latvia in a couple of seconds. By 2020, two-thirds of data will be transmitted using wireless connections,» says Possible.lv chairman Kirils Solovjovs.
At a special data security briefing, experts from Swedbank, LMT, BALTA, Datamed, IT Centre and Possible.lv were presented with the most important issues that affect the security of digital data.
Dmitrijs Sersens, head of Swedbank Digital Development Office in Baltic States, says: «Mobile phones have become people’s personal assistant and digital wallet. This is why it is important to remember to keep it safe both digitally and physically. Android phones allow users to set separate passwords for different apps, which is especially useful if the phone is used by children.»
Sersens explains that Swedbank’s new Smart-ID app is ‘child secure’ – it becomes blocked for three hours after three failed attempts to put in PIN code. Mobile applications should only be downloaded from official websites. Users should also keep software updated, as this helps cover security loopholes.
Mobile device security
LMT Vice-President Laura Kersule says that Latvia is a mobile internet paradise. «We are the second country in the world mobile internet consumption-wise. We are ahead of countries like Sweden, USA and South America. Consumption continues to climb, as 5G and cheap internet will become even more accessible in the country.»
She adds that there are already many innovative smart devices available on the market. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers have made sure their devices are secure. This is why it is highly recommended to pick trustworthy traders that check the security of the devices they sell. To avoid risks that threaten data stored on the device, it is important to pick safe internet connections. ‘For example, mobile internet automatically secures encrypted data transfer, reducing security risks.’
Safe internet use habits and connections
Possible.lv board member Kirils Solovjovs: «Hackers can access every fourth Wi-Fi network in Latvia within seconds. By 2020, one-third of all data will be transmitted through wireless connections.»
The expert recommends to network owners to use WPA2 encryption and pick a safe password. «To avoid unauthorized connection to your device outside of home or work, it is recommended to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth function off when they are not in use.»
Solovjovs also reminds that having a functional Firewall is more important than having an antivirus. It is vital to make sure it is turned on. «Finally, it is especially vital for company workers and internet banking service users to use virtual private networks.»
Business internet security
IT Centrs lead consultant Agris Krusts says ensuring business internet security is a challenge many will soon face. Technologies that allow devices to connect to the internet are becoming cheaper. Security measures suffer because of this. «Even now there are dozens of different types of surveillance cameras available in Latvia capable of streaming videos from people’s bedrooms elsewhere without them even knowing it. This is why it is necessary for people to understand – when buying cheap internet devices, it is necessary to pick the right security configurations and carefully consider locations where to put them.»
BALTA Corporate Partners manager Kaspars Lukacovs: «Keeping in mind the growing influence of the digital age and technologies, as well as the risks they pose, the issue of insurance of cyber-security risks becomes more and more topical, especially in the business environment. But there is currently no real demand for this service in Latvia. We expect this situation to change next year, when EU directive on personal data protection comes into force. Until then, insurance associated with corporate and private data, usually related to mobile phones, computers and other data storage devices will remain much more topical. Last year, BALTA paid compensations for damaged devices worth more than EUR 1.3 million.»
Medical information accessibility for patients
Datamed business development manager Normunds Ancupans explains that seeing a person holding an x-ray film under their armpit is a thing of the past.
He notes that the medical industry is undergoing evolution in the form of digitization in individual installations and wards at the institutional level towards more centralized solutions. This means companies will have to take serious responsibility in relation to data security. «It should be said openly – the majority of institutions, especially in regions, are not prepared for that. There is also a lack of a unified information directive, which is something the EU data protection directive is expected to provide. My recommendation is for every medical institution to find a data security specialist,» said Ancupans.