Designing your business can be a seemingly daunting task if you’ve never done anything like this before, but proper knowledge of the cyber world is essential in running your business successfully and to ensure that you don’t run into any unforeseen issues that would get in the way. Regardless of exactly what IT products you’re in the business of, security is an utmost consideration and is indeed essential to making or breaking your product. After all, cyber security is not limited to protecting your website from hacking or breaches in app data – there are a whole host of things that you should seriously think about when getting yourself into this.
New Technologies Mean New Vulnerabilities
Whenever there’s a promising new IT product out there, it pretty much becomes a magnet for cyber criminals to try out their art for their own gains. Obviously hackers have been around for years, but there’s a huge difference between the relatively benign hacking from two decades ago and the focused, coordinated attacks done by Russian-government sponsored hackers against the US election system in recent years. Obviously, the stakes aren’t always so high as the integrity of a national electoral system, but with our increasing reliance on “smart” technologies there’s more need for proper precautions than ever before.
Forty years ago, anyone suggesting that someone could hack your refrigerator would be dismissed as utterly mad; today, that’s a reality of the world in which we live. In a world where the Internet of Things is becoming a reality and not simply a sci-fi fantasy, security is more important than ever. It’s one thing to have someone hack your computer, but entirely something else when it’s your car or your toaster oven. A smart home comes with a lot of potential risks and vulnerabilities that we’re simply not accustomed to considering hitherto.
Phishing, and the Difference Between State-Sponsored Cyber Spies and Freelancers
Phishing is a reality, so it’s essential to guard the people within your business against cyber attacks in addition to the normal safeguards. After all, there’s no point in coming up with numerous security measures if some moron within your company gives a password to the wrong person, thinking it’s a legitimate site. This is indeed the reason for such high-profile incidents like the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers during the 2016 election cycle.
Indeed, there’s not a whole lot of difference between a government-sponsored cyber spy and a petty criminal. One need only look at the case of the Russian-sponsored hackers to understand just how blurry this line is, and indeed just how little importance national allegiance is to many state-sponsored hackers. Cyber spies may be under the auspices of a government, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not essentially teams of mercenaries. From the look of things, the team of hackers that Putin employs is somewhat fragmented and not necessarily as loyal to him as one might think. Cyber security is a complicated proposition, and the reality is nothing is really black and white in it – sometimes, a “lone wolf” sitting in his bedroom can be just as disruptive as an entire team.
Cyber attacks can of course range from slightly annoying to absolutely devastating on a grand scale. Normally they’re somewhere in the middle, but the best risk-management strategy is to prevent security breaches vigilantly rather than doing damage control later. Sometimes you can’t even always piece together what has happened until it’s too late, and these sort of scenarios are best avoided.
Guard Your Privacy and Evaluate Your Security Design
Privacy concerns are something that you should really think about in terms of cyber security, and this is vital beyond simply phishing and other data breaches. Especially if your business is (or includes) an app with sensitive user data, identity theft is a very real concern. Since there’s a lot of sensitive user data contained in apps and the like, this is a very attractive target for any cyber criminal. That’s as a collective whole, but of course it’s your business as someone in the IT business to ensure that your individual users’ security and safety is guarded. Online stalking and identity theft are serious issues, and anyone with good business sense and a bit of compassion should understand why it’s important not only to protect the pool of user data but also to assist individual users in guarding their own security.
If yours is an internet-based business and you don’t want to risk security in any way, it would be a good idea to consult with someone experienced in matters of security design principles. Rather than risking it on your own and potentially find out later that it was a bad idea to do so, you can have a design and architecture review done by experienced professionals. This will help to identify and rectify all potential weaknesses and to develop a set of best security practices for your product. Identifying potential weaknesses early on in the product life-cycle will help prevent any security breaches, which would in turn damage customer trust and therefore product reputation.
Understanding the cyber world is important for anyone getting into an IT-based business, the field of which is constantly expanding in its scope. With new developments there are always security vulnerabilities, and many devastating attacks turn out to have been entirely preventable if not for the oversight of someone or the other. You should always take the necessary measures and consult with the right people if that’s not your area of expertise.