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Cybersecurity is not hype
June 2018, News

Regular readers of Hi-Tech Security Solutions will know that we have upped the amount of content we have about cybersecurity, whether it is aimed at the physical security market or not. This is not some attempt to appear ‘with it’ in an age where we all hear about cyber-attacks on an almost daily basis, but something that is very necessary.

When you read something about the ‘always connected’ world we live in, you probably roll your eyes. We’ve been hearing that for years and we all know that we are connected and whatnot. It’s a bit of a boring cliché these days.

But it’s not. We really are always connected and always online, even when we think we’re not. There are cybersecurity issues we all have to deal with on a daily basis, whether as an individual, a family or a business. And while the headlines get excited about the big data breaches, the real threats are often overlooked.

It’s really hard to break into a bank’s internal network, even for very experienced hackers. Similarly, the large enterprise companies generally (we hope) have their cybersecurity under control. But their suppliers, the small and mid-range companies are not in the same boat, and cybercriminals – like burglars, rapists and murderers – will focus on the easiest target that enables their crimes.

So a small supplier to a bank may have limited access to the procurement application of the bank, perhaps via a web browser, but that is enough. A good cybercriminal will target the small company with limited cybersecurity – maybe a firewall and antivirus on its computers – and weasel its way into the bank’s system after infecting and gaining access to the small company’s network.

Perhaps it could gain access to the small company’s network by sending a phishing email, or by attacking one of the employees via their smartphone – who doesn’t connect their phones to their employer’s Wi-Fi network? Perhaps that specific employee has kids who like playing games or signing up for every new app or game on social media? One bad click and they are compromised and soon their parents will be as well.

And yes, I’m a nobody and you wouldn’t make a fortune hacking me, but if you can get into my company through me there’s more to be had. And if you can get into a bank through my company, the returns would be worth the time and effort.

The point is not that you should never make a mistake and be paranoid, but that we are all connected and some people are making use of that connectivity to get personal information that can be used for crime and fraud. And the worst is they will probably get away with it.

An executive of a ‘white hacker’ company told us recently that they had caught the same person involved in scamming banks three times already. This individual was never prosecuted because there was no way the NPA could present evidence and make a case. So he’s at it again and maybe he’s the one sneaking around in your network to get the passwords you use to make bank payments?

Andrew Seldon

Editor


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