Over the past three decades, IT security solutions have developed to effectively secure most networks and their IT assets. With proper security processes and the right blend of technologies, breaking into these networks has become considerably complex. However, the world has evolved and businesses are more interconnected than ever before. We’ve reached a point where focusing on IT asset protection is no longer enough. Cybersecurity means focusing on the entire eco-system, including your vendors, suppliers, social networks, physical presence and more. Cyber criminals and hacktivists are focusing on your weakest points of failure, which are not necessarily even owned by you.
The Perimeter Boundaries Are Blurring
The network perimeter separates your networks from the outside world. Although the perimeter itself is secure, business assets are essentially operating beyond its safety net. The new cybersecurity frontier has therefore moved beyond the perimeter – where business is done. Examples of assets beyond the perimeter include, but are not limited to, social media accounts, web properties, and DNS records. While standard information security technologies such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems protect most internal assets, they were never designed to contain sophisticated cyber attacks. In fact, while most breaches covered in the media eventually compromise the perimeter – they typically begin with a security vulnerability or oversight controlled by a third party.
The Brave New World of “Crowd Hacking”
In our hyper-connected world, an increasing number of cyber attacks are rarely traceable to a single individual or even group. Sophisticated, targeted attacks are coordinated online in highly secure and anonymous forums, rendering traditional security measures all but obsolete. While concerning, these new tactics can act as a double-edged sword. Using the same tactics and techniques honed by the “bad guys”, smart cybersecurity procedures can provide targeted intelligence to intercept imminent attacks. Still, while cyber criminals might leave a money trail, hacktivists driven by ideological motivation remain a clear and present threat.
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