We don't live in a world where we can assume that the information we store online is safe, especially without stronger safeguards. Indeed, as many experts point out, it's not much of a stretch to label hackers neo-terrorists.
In late August, for instance, a hacking group put out a tweet claiming that a plane had explosives on board, according to Lazygamer. It was by no means incidental that John Smedley sat on that plane.
Smedley is president of Sony Online Entertainment, a group whose product, PlayStation, had been hacked by the same criminals who took credit for the malicious tweet. While the plane did not have a bomb on it, the tweet it did cause very real consequences, with the plane having to reroute, inconveniencing every passenger on board.
The plane incident represents, in a nutshell, the state of hacking today. Whereas cyberattacks were once primarily inconveniences — taking the form of annoying bugs — today they're firmly entrenched in the virtual sphere. They threaten the skies, national security, enterprise security and any other operation that relies on the Internet.
In 2011, the Pentagon effectively redefined the threat posed by cybercriminals when it stated that an act of computer sabotage carried out by one country against another can categorically be considered an act of war, according to The Wall Street Journal. With the clearly elevated degree of threat posed by cybercriminals, the question becomes this: Is anything hack-proof?
That's the simple answer, according to TIME. For an analogous real-world situation, consider the Ebola outbreak raging on in Liberia and other African countries. Now look at Dr. Rick Sacra of central Massachusetts. The 51-year-old recently traveled to Liberia to re-launch a hospital. Though Sacra wasn't going to be dealing with Ebola patients directly, he knew he was entering the epicenter of the disease, and therefore took proper preventive measures. Yet despite not working directly with the disease as well as protecting himself, Sacra was still infected, and he's currently undergoing treatment in Nebraska to hopefully save his life.
Ultimately, cybercrime presents a similar problem: It is hard to detect and harder to prevent. But unlike Ebola, cybercrime is everywhere — and we are all potential targets.
"In the world of digital security there is unsafe, and there is safer, but no one is hack-proof," TIME states. "Jennifer Lawrence and other celebs may have been protecting their private images, but hackers have a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks."
For businesses that want to protect their enterprise infrastructure, the answer to coping with cybercriminal trickery is clear: Come up with some tricks of your own.
By implementing defensive measures, organizations take a significant proactive step toward firming up security and keeping malicious elements at bay.
One indispensable resource for ensuring enterprise security is two-factor authentication. By adding a second authentication wall for every platform your business regulates, only people who are meant to have access to business resources are gaining entry.
Just as doctors take precautions when dealing with Ebola, it's imperative that businesses follow similar measures when it comes to guarding the cybersphere. To not outfit your company with the proper cybersecurity measures is tantamount to walking into a disease-ravaged area without masks and gloves.