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The vulnerability of everything

Michael Gazeley | June 25, 2014
Businesses are now facing cyber threats via vectors, which just a few short years ago would have seemed like something out of a Hollywood science fiction movie. When you plug into the world, it's easy to forget the world is also plugged into YOU.

Medical equipment such as surgical and anesthesia devices, pacemakers, insulin pumps, and lab analysis tools, can all be hacked.

The stark reality, is that major corporations and government departments, are moving at the speed of corporate red tape, while hackers and criminal organizations, are moving at the speed of the internet.

It doesn't take much to realize who has the upper hand right now. And one shouldn't forget the other unfortunate reality, which is the fact that the potential victim needs to successfully defend themselves from a never ending onslaught of attacks; while the hacker only needs to successfully get in once.

Yet despite all these facts, and despite the ever growing number of media headlines, highlighting successful attacks on companies and governments right across the globe, most senior managers are still all but ignoring cyber threats.

Sometimes it seems that the bigger the successful attacks are, often counting breaches of personal data accounts in the multi-millions, the more numb the entire world seems, to the shocking realities involved. And while you can usually change your password fairly easily, you can't as easily change your passport number, or your home address, or your mobile phone number. As the number of successful breaches grow, we are all becoming more vulnerable, as the criminals get a clearer and clearer picture, of our personally identifiable information.

Unfortunately, time and again, organizations are only looking seriously at their cyber security, after they become a victim of a cyber-attack. Sometimes, not even then. This is simply not acceptable anymore. Cyber-attacks can, and do, cause very tangible damage in the real world.

Michael Gazeley is managing director and co-founder of Network Box Corporation.


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