Cyber Security 2015: Are We Safe Yet?

2014 experienced a rambunctious side of cyber security that no one expected, during which we witnessed giants like eBay and Sony fall victim to hacks just as easily as a simple start-up company would.

Staples and Home Depot are other examples of larger business franchises that suffered major cyber attacks and immense data loss. A wide range of big retail businesses suffered major security breaches which ended in the loss of valuable customer information. The financial service company, JP Morgan, wasn’t big enough to be safe from these security threats either, with hackers managing to extract a massive amount of data from their systems only a few months ago.

The Impact of Software Vulnerabilities

Software vulnerabilities have become a credible source of security breaches for hackers since the arrival of the bug known as HeartBleed. This was used in the theft or extraction of a massive amount of taxpayer data from the Canada Revenue Agency or CRA. Since this event, newer software vulnerabilities are being explored and identified, such as the recently caught Misfortune Cookie bug, which can become a major vulnerability for your systems and a doorway into your secure network.

2014 ended with a bang from hackers with Sony Entertainment’s security breach, and a large amount of personal data began to be exploited over the next few months. Some have even gone as far as calling it an act of cyber terrorism in attempts to identify the hackers which were believed to be originating from North Korea, though there are still many speculations that this accusation was in efforts to thwart the release of the socially and politically controversial film, The Interview.

What to Expect from Cyber Security in 2015

Exploitation of system security vulnerabilities and the extraction of critical data is not expected to go away any time soon; in fact, it is expected to pick up more momentum. These attacks usually originate from outside of the targeted network; the only separation being a protective firewall that hackers are well-equipped to find their ways around and infiltrate.

On the surface, it appears relatively easier to battle external threats with solutions related to technology, with the sturdiest measures for defense against intrusion at your disposal. So far, the attempt to address this problem while dismissing the human dimension of it, has only led companies further astray.

Such attacks are often sourced from those with malicious intent acting as Insider Threats, or are expedited by oblivious insiders who may fall prey to a sophisticated or inconspicuous trick. This can give hackers the power to exploit and maneuver your company’s reputation and credentials, as well as sensitive data stored in your systems.

The biggest issues we need to tackle at this point in time are Insider Threats and the amount of control they provide to the hackers manipulating their access.

Dealing with Insider Threats

There are a number of approaches you can take on the journey to complete cyber safety, specifically in dealing with Insider Threats, which have become the biggest cyber security problem for this year.

All employees need to be trained on how Insider Threats work and how easily they can fall victim to it. Moreover, emphasis should be placed on identification procedures for these types of threats; this should be among the foremost priorities. Develop clear and sturdy policies and make sure your hiring process is stringent enough not to let any suspicious candidate in. Our online environment will keep evolving and so will the hackers. What we need to do to achieve online safety is stay two steps ahead of their game while guarding our network premises properly. This will be the beginning of the construction of a proper defense against hackers and malicious attacks over the internet.

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