Ok, the title may be on extreme end, but hear me out…
The year is 1401, you find yourself in lands controlled by the Ming dynasty. You are feeling well protected by the colossus wall commonly known as Wanli Changcheng or the Great wall of China. With the ever present threat of the mongol hordes on the horizon. The ancient Chinese did physically what we do digitally with computers.
a part of a computer system or network that is designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication
Without the jargon firewalls put up a barrier between us, and the icky back roads of the internet. These devices also allow us to control who and what are welcome within our private networks. If someones tries to get in that isn't authorized they are vaporized, digitally of course. Leaving your data, computers, and devices unspolied from the likes of the digital mongolian hordes looking to pillage into your businesses systems. Why is all of this important for a business? I have heard just about every excuse out there justifying why an organization has not invested in SIMPLE security practices. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. “I have anti-virus software.”
Anti-virus software is a great investment, and we praise business owners that have this incorporated into a security policy. If you are among the number of business that have anti-virus projection. Give yourself a pat on the back, now. Since you have uttered these words to me, it layouts out that you understand the importance of security. Anti-virus software does NOT protect your network at LARGE, or unauthorized connections into your beloved inner sanctum. Just as mall cops patrol malls, state troopers patrol highways. It's our commiucation highways we are aiming to protect here.
2. "Computer equipment is too expensive, and I have been fine without it.."
“Nothing great is easy.” This quotes simplifies anything that I could ever contrive to write. It is easier being subpar isn't it? Security is about risk and threat mitigation. Your office has door locks, windows locks and hey, probably an alarm system tossed in the mix too. All to place a protective carapace around your physical belongings.
The next question is, what about your digital property? Your customers personal information that you vouchsafe. How about your banking information, product details, honestly everything we live in a connected world. Digitally anyone with a computer can reach out and touch you, physically only those in your local area. Make sure your covered on both fronts.
3. “I don't even know what a firewall thingy is, I don't need it.”
Yes, I agree. You are absolutely right. Having no knowledge of the topic makes a grandiose excuse as to why you don't have adequate security measures in place. You don't need car insurance until you need it..right? There may be a finite amount of redundancy in that last statement, but I hope it rams home my point. Its childs play for a bad guy to capitalize on lack of knowledge, dont let them catch you off guard.
Home Depot had an incident in 2014 that was more than likely Russian and Ukrainian hackers suspected also in the Target Corp attacks. These malicious advances affect 2,200 stores. Other countries are not bound by our computer laws. Each and every device connected to the internet can be affected. The information stolen is sold, and used in identify theft more often than not. We all know personally, someone who has been touched by identify theft. Here is a thought, how about we become more Proactive instead of Reactive in preventing these ignoble attacks before they occur.
Once uttered, these 3 seemingly innocuous phrases perpetuate, and entice others who wish to do us harm. Think of all the hacking attempts that go unreported. Here is an image of live attacks the morning this blog was posted. Each of the rings signals a hacking "hit." The streaks show the origin of the attack, and where it is headed. I'll let you do the math on the vector of these attacks.
I hope you found this read informative, as always building people is what we do. What are your thoughts on the topic?