Cy­ber In­sec urity

Hack­ers don’t dis­crim­i­nate be­tween mega-cor­po­ra­tions and small busi­nesses: Ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion with an In­ter­net con­nec­tion is at risk

Alberta Venture - - The Briefing -

>>> Cy­ber­at­tacks today are more com­mon, so­phis­ti­cated and de­struc­tive than ever be­fore and, with each new smart de­vice, there is a greater chance of cy­ber in­tru­sion.

Take the Oc­to­ber cy­ber­at­tack on Dyn, a U.S.based Do­main Name Sys­tem (DNS) provider. Hack­ers blasted Dyn with dis­trib­uted-de­nialof-ser­vice (DDoS) at­tacks, caus­ing mas­sive out­ages of ma­jor web­sites like Twit­ter, Ama­zon, Net­flix and PayPal. To pull off such a largescale at­tack, hack­ers used a bot­net con­tain­ing mal­ware and in­fected the In­ter­net of Things, which is com­prised of web-con­nected de­vices like print­ers, we­b­cams, even baby mon­i­tors. The DDoS at­tack was the largest of its kind and ac­cord­ing to Jae Steen, chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer at Ed­mon­ton IT se­cu­rity com­pany Ekota Cen­tral, ex­tremely sig­nif­i­cant. “We have all this se­cu­rity at air­ports, leg­is­la­tion for money laun­der­ing and so on, but we are fail­ing to see how easy it is for any group to take down our way of life,” Steen says.

Th­ese at­tacks are not ex­clu­sive to For­tune 500 com­pa­nies. Small and medium-sized busi­nesses are vul­ner­a­ble too. But, fear not, there are ways or­ga­ni­za­tions can be proac­tive. The first step is ed­u­ca­tion: un­der­stand your In­ter­net foot­print and rec­og­nize key en­try points that should be se­cured. Ed­u­cat­ing your­self can be as sim­ple as hir­ing a se­cu­rity pro­fes­sional to host a lunch and learn at the of­fice. “[It starts with] un­der­stand­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween a good pass­word and a bad pass­word, un­der­stand­ing why ‘scrappy01’ is a bad pass­word,” Steen says. “Un­der­stand­ing how you ac­cess things and how they can be dan­ger­ous, like un­se­cured Wi-Fi points.”

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