IT departments are under constant pressure to build modern applications that improve customer experiences, automate workflows, and meet business objectives. Often, these applications are built on open-source platforms that contain costs and deliver proven functionality. But there’s one problem with open-source software. Cybercriminals can access the very same software development kit (SDK) that developers use. And because they know you’re building the application package with these open-source libraries, they’ll inherently see where the security flaws are—and be able to identify whether or not you’ve hardened the application.
The statistics are alarming. By mid-year 2021, the vast majority of breaches—85 percent—involved a human element. And 91 percent of breaches start with a phishing attack. These social engineering schemes put your employees squarely in the crosshairs of hackers. And that’s why you need to reinforce secure cyber defense practices with your employees. A successful attack can be incredibly costly in terms of downtime and damage to your business’s reputation, ignoring for a moment the costs that follow if you can’t get your data back at all.
Cybersecurity is front-page news, and its impacts are considerable. Consider that NBC News recently called ransomware “a major national security issue.” The same story says that the cybersecurity industry is stretched thin, with a shortage of workers to help stem the damage. The FBI 2020 Internet Crime Report shows how big the problem is, with the bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center receiving a record 791,790 complaints last year, with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. And today’s headlines make it clear that it’s only getting worse.
While all cybersecurity threats are on the rise, one form of attack has a long history of wreaking havoc. The first-ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in 1974 was the work of a 13-year-old student. In 1996, DDoS was first used as a commercial weapon when New York-based internet service provider Panix was targeted by a hacker using a spoofed IP address to overwhelm the company’s servers with fake “synchronize” packages. These early DDoS attacks function much like the modern versions, shutting down your network, servers, or sites by sending vast amounts of data that overwhelm targeted systems.
Cybersecurity threats are coming at organizations from everywhere. Lately, ransomware has been headline news as JBS, the largest global beef supplier, paid $11 million to the Russian hacker group REvil after they breached the company’s networks. Unfortunately, ransomware attacks are becoming even more sophisticated. Some recent attacks find their way into networks and exfiltrate the data, essentially stealing it, then threatening to either sell it on the dark web or publish it elsewhere unless the victim pays the ransom.
Security is certainly front of mind for anyone involved with IT today. That’s why many companies have adopted stronger and stronger measures to prevent successful cyberattacks. That typically means having end users—those working both remotely and in the office — access all their data via a backhaul connection through a virtual private network (VPN). This approach lets users take advantage of the organization’s firewall, filters, and other security measures. But while users may be able to access the resources, they need this way—whether that’s SaaS applications or files—there are probably still plenty of gaps that exist in your security fabric.