There was a time not so long ago when the word “hacking” conjured up the image of fifteen-year-old writing viruses that presented a message like “You’ve been hacked by badboy45”. If the individual was particularly malicious, they might go so far as to reformat your C drive.
The recent Sony Pictures hacking incident marked a new era in cyber-terrorism in that it proved that a terrorist organization could intimidate North America from afar.
In this new era of heightened stakes comes an increased need for a comprehensive security strategy. Let’s take a look at how cyber-threats have evolved and what you can do to thwart attackers.
Cyber-terrorism vs. Traditional Hacking
Both individual hackers and organizations share similar goals, which are to steal, alter, or even destroy the target server or network by exploiting vulnerabilities in the system. But that’s where the similarities end. Professional hackers are often politically motivated to carry out their attacks to their repugnant conclusion, barring failure due to a well-guarded system. Cyber-terrorists are just as apt to target civilian interests and civilian installations as military or political ones. Whereas the goal of terrorism used to be to inflict the greatest number of casualties, focus has now shifted to simply create the most “terror” via the orchestration of high-profile incidents.
Employ Anti-malware and Anti-virus Software
Once an intruder gains access to your network servers, they can log in and infect that server as well as connected computers with malicious spyware or viruses. Spyware, which sends raw data to the hacker(s) over the network connection, is an especially dangerous threat because it may be able to circumvent end-to-end network encryption.
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