When it comes to cyber security, we’ve come a long way from the early days of the World Wide Web. Around the turn of the century, visiting the wrong website could send a never-ending cascade of pop-up windows across your computer screen. It may have cost you the price of a new hard drive to get your computer working properly again. In comparison, today’s cyber criminals are asking for billions of dollars in ransom after taking over entire computer systems operated by governmental organizations, large corporations and major institutions. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are quickly evolving. So, how is cyber security evolving to help keep computer users safe? In this post, we’ll cover a few areas of rapid change in the ever-evolving cyber security world.
Nowadays it’s not just your laptop, tablet or smartphone that are vulnerable to cyber threats. You’ll find unprotected, internet-connected computer systems in unlikely places such as your refrigerator, washing machine or entertainment system. And cyber criminals have quickly taken notice. While the IoT has made our lives far easier, it’s also made the jobs of cyber criminals far easier. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough foresight put into the security of IoT devices which has created the evolution of a security catchup industry when it comes to protecting our household devices from being exploited. We’re still not there yet, which means there’s more work to be done in this area.
It isn’t bad enough that cyber criminals have developed ransomware that can hold hostage computer systems ranging from your mobile phone to the highly sensitive electronic data held by the United States Marshals Service. Nowadays, many cybercriminals have found it more lucrative to sell ransomware software to those who don’t have the expertise to create their own illegal computer programs. RaaS has spawned a new generation of so-called “script kiddies” who are doing the dirty work on behalf of much more knowledgeable programmers.
Although better late than never, white-hat computer programmers have taken the cue from their black-hat counterparts to create SOCaaS. This allows companies that may not have the means to properly protect their digital assets to pay a monthly subscription fee for protection from a wide variety of cyber threats. These types of tools allow organizations to focus on their core business while outsourcing their cyber security needs for a reasonable price.
As the name suggests, zero trust architecture does not take any computer user at face value. Every user must reauthenticate themselves at every step of their digital journey. This ensures that unwanted or uninvited users are prevented from easily accessing protected areas of a computing system. While zero trust architecture has been around for some time, it’s only recently that more people are understanding its value and implementing it into their computing systems.
While many vital organizations such as hospitals, banks and civic infrastructure have long relied on disaster recovery planning to eliminate downtime in the event of a natural disaster, this has evolved into including digital disaster recovery planning for virtually every type of business and organization. Most organizations that depend on computer systems have found themselves completely hamstrung during a digital disaster. Creating and implementing an explicit step-by-step instruction manual on how to recover from such a disaster is being seen as yet another vital step in organizational survival.
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