Internet users need to better understand data privacy and the consequences of losing personal information in the wake of data breaches at companies such as Target and TalkTalk, according to Julie Cullivan (pictured), chief information officer at security firm FireEye.
"People are concerned about data privacy but I am not sure they know what it means personally to them. It's important people understand and take some accountability for it," Cullivan told V3 in an interview.
"Particularly in the US there's probably not a person that hasn't somehow been affected by one of these major breaches. Having said that, it's still shocking from a personal perspective [how much] people are willing to share.
"Think about how valuable your personal information is, how much of that you share and how broadly you share it. To me, it's about taking some personal responsibility."
Data breaches and cyber attacks reached record levels in 2015. Cullivan was personally affected by the US Office of Personnel Management breach that exposed sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, names and home addresses.
The sheer scope of technology shows the vulnerability of personal data as the Internet of Things (IoT) enters the mix, according to Cullivan.
"With the IoT and everything else that is going on, pretty soon your home is a little network and suddenly that information [is vulnerable] to others," she said.
As more data is shared, and therefore put at risk, Cullivan told V3 that the volume of data being compromised by hackers and cyber criminals is soaring.
"Think about the kind of information [hackers] now have access to. There are Social Security numbers and your medical history. There are all these other things that start to come into play," she said.
"Our goal [at FireEye] is to try and prevent as much activity happening through our technology, but the reality is that if something does get through the real key is finding it quickly and responding to it quickly."
FireEye recently expanded its capabilities with the $200m acquisition of threat intelligence company iSight Partners. "With iSight we are going to be able to take things to a whole new level," Cullivan said.
"We have the technology and iSight has the knowledge about the adversary. iSight is not just focused on cyber espionage, it is looking at hacktivism and terrorism to see how people are actually using technology.
"[iSight's] global coverage and the number of attackers and adversaries it tracks is much deeper globally than we had. We certainly had a really strong research team but we now suddenly have coverage that we did not have before."
This intelligence data is more vital than ever. Responding quickly to cyber attacks remains a priority for FireEye, but Cullivan told V3 that the nature of such attacks is changing as mobile devices grow in popularity.
She highlighted Apple products as a growing threat as enterprises start to embrace iOS and hackers focus on the devices as an entry point.
"There has been this perception that Apple is secure because it's proprietary but more and more we are finding quite a few severe security breaches around Apple where it starts with a phone and ends up in a company network," she said.
"The more [Apple] devices enter the enterprise the more they will become a target. We have certainly had a couple of exploits that no-one else would have discovered that were clearly through the Apple OS."
Apple faced a number of security problems last year such as the XcodeGhost malware that introduced a number of infected mobile apps into the App Store.
Another exploit called YiSpecter was able to infect non-jailbroken Apple devices by abusing private APIs in iOS to install malware-ridden applications.
"More companies are now giving out Macs instead of Windows machines so I think that's going to be interesting to see if attackers will try to go after that a little bit harder than they have [in the past]," Cullivan said.
Evidence suggests that cyber criminals have jumped on mobile in general as a new attack vector. "A lot of time what might start as a text message on a phone ends up creating malware in a company network, and we have recognised for a while that this is happening more and more," she said.
"I think mobile has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years which is why we spent a lot of time investing in being able to use all of our threat intelligence and start to look at mobile threats.
"Certainly, the stakes continue to get higher and the sophistication of the attackers continues to grow."
Has Samsung cracked the converged desktop where Microsoft Continuum failed?
IBM software case reminiscent of TSMC trade secrets theft claim
iPhone 8 specs, release date, price, features, basically everything! But will it have a curved display?