The ever-growing fact is more entities are relying on computers to get their work done. This also means that more information is stored on Internet databases. This might not have been an issue before, but many of the entities using Internet databases are governmental entities. So a lot of sensitive information is stored on databases that are open to cyber attacks. This is why it is imperative that experts make cybersecurity their top priority. To learn more, checkout this infographic created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Safety Degree program.
Cyber attacks are very real, and they are very costly to more than just governmental agencies. These attacks happen to anyone, which is why it is important to put an emphasis on security. It is also important to recognize that many entities are simply ill equipped to deal with these attacks.
Keep in mind that there are about 80 to 90 million cyber-related issues every single year. What is even more troubling is that 70 percent of all the cyber attacks that occur go undetected. This could be blamed on inadequate cyber security or simply not being informed of what emails or sites may be a threat. A lot of issues could be attributed to the fact that most attacks slip right under the noses of those who are attacked.
Of course, it could just mean that the attacks are simply overwhelming, and cyber-security just cannot deal with them. This would make sense since there are about 400 new threats every single minute.
These attacks not only compromise valuable information, but they can also end up costing a lot more than one can imagine. It is estimated that cyber attacks can end up costing 300 billion to a trillion dollars every single year they occur. That is definitely a scary number to present, and it is a number that needs to be reversed dramatically. Too much private information, business information, and governmental material is at stake.
Attackers usually look for certain things that can be used later for extortion, privacy invasion, and identity theft among other malicious acts. A cyber attack will usually target birth dates, social security numbers, financial information, contact information, employment information, or even income data. All this information can be snatched not only from a personal computer or database but from all the databases that may have this information. This could mean banks, retail stores, doctor’s offices, or governmental agencies. In short, people are definitely vulnerable.
In fact, back in February 2016 there was a cyber attack on the Bangladesh Bank that cost them 81 million dollars. Yes, the perpetrators stole that much money without breaking into the bank or firing one single bullet. The robbery was done within moments, and the bank was virtually defenseless to the attackers. Clearly, cyber-security needs to increase, and it has to happen quickly.
Another bank, JP Morgan Chase–considered one of the largest US banks–became a target and lost the personal information of about 76 million account holders. The data breach was made public and damaged the bank’s overall image. This, in itself, was also a very costly affair because JP Morgan Chase had to spend money to encourage people to trust them again. Not to mention the kind of money that they had to spend to upgrade their security, among other expenses.
A breach that became national news and scared many people was the voter registration database breach. The information of over 191 million US voters was exposed by the breach. It was one of the most detrimental breaches that scared many. The FBI is still investigating the breach but have yet to uncover the perpetrators.
At the moment, there are seven layers of cyber-security. These include the firewall, anti-malware, security policy, first-response team, layered security measure, cyber-security training, and administrative account security.
The firewall is meant to monitor incoming and outgoing data traffic. It monitors the data based on predetermined red flags. Anti-malware software protects against malware, trojans, and adware among other malicious worms. A security policy is one where all employees, or anyone involved with Internet usage, is aware of the protocol should they suspect a breach. First response team is a group of professionals that are either in-house or hired as freelancers to analyze the attack, and put up defenses to fend off the attack.
The layered security measures are walls of security, like multi-factor authentication or SSO that protects the most delicate of data. Cyber-security training points out all the security measures that employees, or those who use the Internet, must know. Administrative account security means that these access points are monitored because a breach here would be detrimental.
The idea is to make sure that there are several layers of protection to ensure that every attack is controlled before it can do more damage. Of course, attacks may still occur that is why there are several entities attempting to create more security programs to help fend off all of these threats, especially for governmental offices and entities.
One of the programs is called the National Cybersecurity Protection System. The system is meant to detect intrusions through some of the most sophisticated analytics. The system is also meant to protect governmental agencies before the attack even occurs with vigorously updated algorithms checking all data at all times.
There is also another plan of defense called the Trusted Internet Connection Initiative. This plan depends on consolidating external connections to the internet that only federal agencies are going to use. The connection is going to be much more secure than normal internet connections, which should make a significant difference.
Of course, these are just a few of the tactics that the government is trying to protect their most sensitive materials. But it is definitely just a start. Threats are still evolving as cyber-security evolves. There is probably no way that the government, or any other entity, can fully prevent cyber attacks, but at least some of these measures may diminish the kind of damage these attacks can make.
It is easy to see that the battle against cyber attacks is one worth fighting for to protect vital information or even national security.
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