Are We Losing The Cyber War?

Whether or not you’re aware of it, we’re all currently engaged in what many have labeled a ‘cyber war.’ This is essentially the battle to protect essential data and systems and this conflict is starting to hot up. Whilst the cyber war takes place entirely in the digital world it is having some very significant real world consequences as was recently brought into sharp focus by the Heartbleed issue. This demonstrated that the cyber war has many horizons, not just hackers, that there needs to be a considerable shift in attitudes and focus and that cyber security needs to move much further up the agendas of most businesses.

Currently, perhaps because it is not that well understood, cyber security is something of an afterthought and many businesses only put in place facilities such as network monitoring or managed security services after they have already found themselves a victim of a security breach. It’s a rather strange approach to take to something as valuable as the data a company has – you wouldn’t, for example, wait to buy insurance for expensive business equipment until after it had been stolen. This attitude is, however, pretty widespread and is one of the reasons why security breaches can be so severe when they do occur. Of course the focus of day-to-day business life is performance, margins and profile, but all this will have been almost for nothing if a hacker can come along and wipe out all that profitability in a matter of minutes. Changing this attitude is key to making sure your organisation is safe and to winning the cyber war as a whole.

Then there is the question of attitudes within the industry itself, which are in dire need of an update in terms of appreciating the potential threats. An example of this slightly laissez faire approach is that the OpenSSL software, which is used by so many websites and which was the software containing the flaw that enabled Heartbleed, is actually only maintained by one full time employee. Could a more extensive team have ensured Heartbleed was avoided? Who knows, but there’s a chance that if the risks had been taken more seriously it could.

So, in many ways one of the reasons we are falling behind in the cyber war is because we have not yet really caught up with the technology we are using – and what the consequences might be of security being breached. The lesson? Don’t wait for another Heartbleed to come along and affect your business, take action now. ITC Security offers managed security services specialise in protecting businesses from cyber threats – don’t be a cyber war casualty, take a look at our website today and make sure you security is in good hands.