Cyber Warfare

Get to Know Scott Augenbaum

War on Cyber

When you hear about cybercrime what do you think about? People stealing money online? Wiring frauds or bank account information being stolen? We mostly focus on the economic impact and how it costs the global economy trillions of dollars. 

While cybercrime continues to be a profit powerhouse for criminals, there’s more beyond the money. 

There’s an actual cyber war going on, as we speak. In recent news, the Iranian government shot a U.S drone out of the sky. We would think the U.S. government would retaliate by launching missiles or by using any other traditional warfare protocol. However, the allegations state that the U.S launched a “cyber attack” against an Iranian missile launcher taking it out of action. 

We’ve heard the military say that the wars of the future will be fought on the cyberspace front lines, and not on the battlefield. 

These types of attacks may not cause casualties, but it doesn’t mean it won’t destroy many lives in the process. And while this may not be the first usage of cyber-tactics by the military, it certainly is one of the first times we are being told about it. 

This needs to be a wakeup call for corporate America. 

Why? I feel very confident (most days) that our government and military networks could withstand a cyber-attack from a nation state or hostile government, and still run effectively. However, a majority of our nation’s critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector. If you dive even deeper, you will find a majority of them are small companies that do not have adequate cyber defenses. We’ve been seeing a rash of ransomware outbreaks all over the United States and as a result some large cities are being brought to their knees. 

If they can’t keep their systems safe from ransomware; how can we expect them to keep the infrastructure portion safe? 

Last week we talked about ransomware and the damages that ensue because of one of these attacks. Think about how Baltimore would have handled their ransomware crisis; if it was a nation state who went after the electric grid and water supply in the summertime. Would a nation state such as Iran, or China, or Russia, cause this kind of chaos? Without a shadow of a doubt, the answer is yes.

Now let’s bring this back to our organization. We use so much smart technology to make our lives easier. We can control our elevators, HVAC Systems, alarms, lights, and countless other technologies with nothing more than an app on our Iphone or Android device. Have we REALLY ever thought about how we keep these systems safe from these keyboard-criminals? 

Do you have a plan in place if something hits the fan? 

Furthermore, do you even know who to call if your systems got cyber-hacked? I want you to think about the assets in your organization that could cripple your company if it got in the wrong hands. Some of you may be in denial, thinking it won’t happen. 

Let’s remember- no one ever expects to be the next victim. 

So when you find yourself slacking on your cybersecurity practices; think about Iran’s government, or the city of Baltimore. If systems of these size can be hacked… so could yours.

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