Consider this recent headline from The Epoch Times: Hackers Stole Nearly 26 Million User Login Credentials For Sites Like Amazon, Google, Facebook. The article details that the thefts went on for two years. Folks, this is cyber warfare and we are in the thick of it right now.
“I Am Your Enemy, The First One You’ve Ever Had Who Was Smarter Than You”
I highly recommend the 1985 military science fiction novel Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. It is a gripping tale of imperiled humankind on Earth preparing for the third invasion by aliens. There are many parallels to today’s cyber warfare, the most obvious being that we don’t know everything there is to know about our assailants. My IT management company, Aptica, has already faced many situations that made me think of Ender’s Game. After just 35 short years, I and all MSP companies (Managed Service Providers) are living a science-fiction scenario. The depth and complexity of data networks and internet connections have certainly opened doors for expanded business opportunities. At the same time, it has created opportunities for those who steal for a living.
“There Is No Teacher But The Enemy. No One But The Enemy Will Tell You What The Enemy Is Going To Do”
Painful, painful truth. We try to anticipate data attacks, but we learn how to defend against them only after one has been successful somewhere. It is whack-a-mole on a global scale. We scramble to invent intangibles that can prevent intangibles when it comes to information breaches. First, there is a steal. Next, we figure out how it was done. Then we put barriers in place. In the time it takes us to do that, there is another way found to get inside proprietary data caches. The revelation of the 26 million user credentials steal confirms (again) that no one is safe, no one is immune. Rich or not, corporate or small—your information can become a weapon to be used against you.
“The Only Rules Of The Game Are What You Can Do To Him And What You Can Stop Him From Doing To You”
It is a struggle people have had for centuries. Our first task is to make it harder for the enemy to penetrate your defenses. We do this with firewalls for computers. We also do this with tactics like 2-Factor Authentication and password management apps. We do this by training employees to recognize potential threats in the everyday use of their devices. But maybe it is best if you think of cyber protection as an ongoing sword fight. There are daily thrusts and daily parries. There are lunges and hops. One side advances, and the other retreats; it’s a constant back-and-forth. Picture it with lightsabers if that brings up the hand-to-hand image for you. While you, yourself, may not be spending the energy on this, I hope the MSP for your business is performing at this level to protect your business.
“Only The Enemy Shows You Where You Are Weak. Only The Enemy Tells You Where He Is Strong.”
We all saw how far-reaching the Colonial Oil breach became. Gas prices went up. Gas stations ran out of fuel. Alternate transportation saw a spike. People got stranded. These are the ways our enemies can use our stolen data to disrupt our economy and our way of life. If you have been waiting until something catastrophic happens to you or your family or your business before you feel motivated to join the fight—rethink that position.
“From Now On The Enemy Is More Clever Than You. From Now On The Enemy Is Stronger Than You. From Now On You Are Always About To Lose.”
If you aren’t sure how well-protected your network is, Aptica offers free assessments. We also spend time walking you through what you can expect from a premium MSP, and we will show you what we do for you each month. The battle is here, in our home country and in our hometowns. Let professionals help keep you safe.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.