Trade secrets account information, personal information- all these seem to be accessible once devices are connected to the internet. Because of the staggering amount of information flying around cyberspace, and the amount of damage it can cost emotional, financial, national securities if the knowledge is abused, restricting access to these same has topped the list of internet user concerns. Monitoring and securing what users see is now a full-time job of itself. Safety procedures are employed to ensure what is private remains private – several level passwords, head aching access codes, bothersome security questions pop up every now and often to ascertain your legitimate access to such information. Yet, time and the dynamic nature of knowledge and technology ensures that air-tight security measures become porous as the minutes tick by. Certain individuals dedicate their time and efforts to creating loopholes, taking advantage of the loopholes that may be found, and creating programs that deny owners access to their information. They do this because they can, for espionage, because they are criminals or just to start trouble.
Hackers (Black/Unethical) are indiscriminate in their choice of victims who cut across all facets of life – entertainment, news, finance, education, …nobody is exempt from the threats they pose, not even whole governments. Emerging organizations seem to be a special treat for these guys, perhaps because they cannot afford to employ brilliant minds (white/ethical), who will help monitor their and continually block potential loopholes in their database like the larger corporations can. Reports have indicated at least one incidence of hacker attacks targeted at small and medium sized organizations in the last year (case in point, WannaCry). The forecast for the next five years is even more ominous with an even increased occurrence of cyber-attacks.
There are already established methods of protection against invasive cyber-attacks, these singular palliatives are however inadequate if used individually. An integrated approach that combines all these methods is very much advised. Commonest method of protection employed is the usage of regularly updated, industrial-strength security software packages (anti-viruses, anti-malware, etc…), which although do their jobs, are still inadequate protection for combating threats especially phishing attempts. Reducing the number of staff who have access to sensitive information, in addition, is also effective in reducing cyber-invasions. The tendency to work over open and unsecure networks after office hours should be discouraged. This reduces the chances of clinking random links that office internet security would have blocked. While it is true that employing ethical hackers cost arms and legs, periodic training of (IT) staff in the identification of security lapses and vulnerabilities on a network is a sure-fire way to protect your organization. All these precautions might be tiring, but in these days of increased computer-based documentation and storage coupled with internet usage, they are important if we are to survive the coming wave of promised attacks.
Sign up for our intensive Certified Ethical Hacker training program coming up 2nd – 6th April, 2018. Certificates, tokens and all that knowledge!!! HURRY!