Cyber Security is a top concern for every company out there. The more money being made, the higher a priority its assigned. The World Economic Forum reported in late 2015 that more than 90% of organizations across the globe admitted to being less than prepared to prevent cyber attacks. That’s a scary statistic, and to the hacker it looks like you left the secure door to your office wide open. The prevalence and size of the cyber attacks have increased significantly over the past 3 years, leading to the creation of new global agencies and partnerships among countries on opposite sides of the planet in the interest of protection. In 2016, we’ve seen everything from a denial of service (DDoS) attack on Xbox Live to GPS spoofing to hack the United States Government’s UAV’s and drones being used to prevent the cartel borders crossings near Mexico.
What are the hackers after?
Information. They’re looking for any data they can use to manipulate something for personal gain. Why work for a living when you can steal what you want and get away with it. Large retailers like Target have seen this firsthand. The Target point of sale (POS) attack occurred shortly before Christmas in 2014, with confirmation and an official announcement of the security compromise hitting the news right after the New Year. Personal data and credit card information from thousands of customers was stolen.
Medical institutions have been targeted for attacks as well. A hospital in Hollywood California paid out $17,000 to unknown hackers who had stolen HIPPA-protected medical information and were “holding it hostage.” If you think about it, hospitals are the perfect target. Without access to their computer systems, doctors, nurses, and medical staff can’t perform their jobs, which prevents the hospital from functioning. Rather than face patient fatalities and complications related to delays because of a security breach, the hospitals just pay the demanded fee.
What Can Be Done to Ramp Up Cyber Security?
For starters, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a framework for advancing security measures and protection against an attack. The publication presents numerous best practices and stellar research from top security experts across the field. Secondly, although it comes with a cost, companies need to spend more money on security if they want to be protected. Nothing is 100%, but prevention goes a long way.