When I was growing up we never locked our house, even when we went away for a weekend. We weren’t afraid of going out at night and we didn’t have to worry about venturing into certain areas of town. We lived in the country, in a good neighborhood with good neighbors.
Contrast that with any crime-ridden neighborhood in a big city. Residents there might have several locks on their door, an alarm system, and venturing out requires a constant state of vigilance. Quite a different scenario.
Today, though, when it comes to our corporate computer networks, the unfortunate truth is that we all live in bad neighborhoods. The entire internet-connected world is a dangerous place, requiring constant vigilance to be safe and to survive.
Every person and every company in the world that is online is being attacked every second of every day by an army of bad guys around the globe. Our mission as a network support company, therefore, is to protect information assets from those who wish to do harm. The consequences to us and our clients if we fail are considerable: financial loss, reputation damage, fines, and even business failures. The collateral damage is that people will lose their jobs, which leads to financial hardship and crushing stress.
Why are we seeing cyber threats increasing so dramatically in frequency, type and sophistication? I think the answer, like with any commercially driven activity, lies in market conditions and economics. Consider this: For an industry to thrive, it needs a product, producers of said product, buyers of the product, a distribution system, and a way to get paid. The bigger the market and the amount of money to be made, the bigger the industry.
Product: Currently and for the foreseeable future, there is an unlimited supply of information residing on individual and corporate computer systems. This product – data – is mined by hackers for use by themselves, to sell to others, and/or to ransom to the original owners.