Cyberterrorism Is Becoming Everyone’s Nightmare

by | Oct 9, 2017

Hackers are terrorists! Don’t believe me?

The definition of a terrorist, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Merriam-Webster defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

While we tend to think of terrorists as violent and bloody with no respect for life or property, I would ask the following question:

Is there not a feeling of terror and doom when your identity has been stolen, your personal finances destroyed, or your entire monetary and digital life held hostage by an individual or group whose sole purpose is to take everything you have or make you pay to get it back?

There is a growing number of people and organizations who have dedicated themselves to helping individuals and companies protect against these cyber terrorists. Now I know there are entire divisions of the military and government dedicated to fighting “Cyber Terrorists”. However, cyberterrorism is not limited to just those attacks by nation states or radical actors out to expose and destroy military and civil infrastructures.

Cyberterrorism can be as simple as a punk kid playing a prank on a friend by hacking his Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. It’s worse if it isn’t a friend and they are purely doing it to bully someone. Yes, cyber bullies are cyber terrorists. They are terrorizing others.

Cyberterrorism definitely encompasses those would-be profiteers who are hacking individuals and companies in order to steal money, identities and hold hostage information for monetary gain.

The cybersecurity professionals in both the public and private sectors have a tough job. The big hacks that have occurred over the last several years (YAHOO, EQUIFAX and more) are proof that the battle to protect the world’s information is not only difficult, it’s darn near futile.

More and more research is coming out every day proving that
better than 75% of small organizations have been compromised
and 99% of large organizations are targeted.

Today, roughly 50% of the US population has been compromised to some degree. Individuals are at risk from phishing schemes, credential stuffing, and the list goes on and on.

How do you fight cyber terrorists?

The answer is education, technology, and diligence…with the help of Cyber Warriors!

There are many working to report and help educate the masses on how to protect themselves. People like Brian Krebbs (https://krebsonsecurity.com/) and Troy Hunt (https://www.troyhunt.com/) are consistent sources of information and advice for those looking for guidance and help in securing themselves. They are Cyber Warriors!

CISOs (Chief Information Security Officer), CSOs (Chief Security Officers) and the teams they lead are working hard to protect employees and customers of their organizations. They are Cyber Warriors! These particular warriors are beleaguered from fighting a battle that will never cease. They can only adapt and grow with increased threats as they try to stay ahead of it.

There is a wealth of companies, including HEROIC.com, that offer technology and consulting to public and private organizations enabling them to protect employees and customers. Cybersecurity assessments, penetration testing, and ultimately technology solutions to help plug security gaps are necessary. Third-party partners can provide these services at a much lower cost to companies than they would spend doing it all themselves.

Make no mistake, diligence is the most valuable piece of the puzzle. I heard a phrase on a talk radio show and podcast called The Jaymac News Show where Jay talked about how “adulting” today is hard because there is so much more to it. On top of everything we’ve always had to do as adults, citizens, and parents there is now the addition of cybersecurity specialist. His point: We have to diligently work to stay educated and ahead of the cyber threats on us personally. Are your emails and logins secure? Are you savvy enough to spot phishing schemes? Are you taking the proper steps to secure your financial and personal information?

Cyberterrorism permeates our society. As already stated, the battle will never cease. What are you doing to adapt and stay ahead of it?

To discover if your employee login credentials have been compromised in external breaches and to learn more about how your organization can protect against credential stuffing attacks, contact HEROIC today!

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