Cyber security has long been at the top of pnst organisations' agendas - and for good reason. In a data-driven world, fortunes rise or fall depending on how well core data is secured.
Strange then, that when disaster strikes it often turns out that data was not very secure at all. Just today Computing ran a story on allegedly poor security practice within CapitalOne, the bank that lost personal information of 106 million customers to a hacker.
And barely a week goes by without an unencrypted database full of sensitive data being found on the web by security researchers - with luck before hackers or malicious actors have found it first, but who can say for sure? In a recent example the biometrics of one million people were discovered on publicly accessible database.
Such discoveries make for terrible PR of course, and potentially large fines, which is why victims of cyber attacks are often loathe to comment on them. But in reality, most organisations are more vulnerable than they let on, or even than they realise. Consider the Cloudhopper attacks in which companies were breached by the back door through via their cloud provider, apparently by state sponsored hackers. Arguably, from the affected companies' point of view, this was almost impossible to foresee.
The fact is, hacking gangs, state-sponsored actors and - increasingly - AIs don't give a damn about CEOs' and CISOs' proclamations that they are hiring the brightest and the best and implementing the latest security solutions. There will always be gaps, and sooner or later they will be discovered. The most important thing is how the organisation responds when they are.
What will you do when you find an adversary has hidden themselves within your network, a well-designed bot using military-grade technology tirelessly probing your defences with endless patience? Do you really know where your vulnerabilities lie?
While concern about security is more or less a constant, today's threats are on a different scale, so don't bring a human to a bot-fight, at least not without some hefty backup. AI and APT scanners are part of the solution but they are only as good as the data they are fed and the visibility they are allowed.
New threats, new approaches
Organisations need to be aware of evolving threats, stay abreast of the latest solutions and best practices for protecting core data and systems, and work on a multifaceted layered approach so that when defences are breached damage is minimised.
Computing's Cyber Security Live event in November will cover all of these topics and more. The conference is an excellent opportunity to gain practical tips through sharing and reviewing peers' mistakes and experiences. Cyber Security Live aims to:
- Inform CISOs and other IT professionals about future threats
- Help them predict and prepare for these threats
- Implement an excellent cyber-security solution without breaking the budget
Attendance is free for qualifying professionals. We look forward to seeing you there.
Remote working has expanded the digital perimeter of many organisations, and that opens them up to risks
How do you address IT leaders' dual concerns around remote working and cyber security?
British firms paid the sixth-highest total ransom amount to attackers last year, after the USA, Italy, Germany, Spain and France
Microsoft is considering acquiring popular app TikTok's US operations, despite security concerns and the possibility of a ban in the near future