With the recent rise of malicious intrusions into business organizations, many have started asking the question: “what is cyber warfare?” While some people are quick to point fingers at hackers and others who are “evil cyber criminals” (which has become a catchall for any person or group that engages in malicious online activities), there are many gray areas. Cyber warfare refers to a number of techniques used by attackers to try to infiltrate a business computer system, or network.
In the past, cyber crimes have resulted in huge monetary losses, and even the loss of human life. Cyber attacks can occur through email or instant messaging, as well as in a number of other ways. The goal of an attacker is usually to access a business’s most valuable information – such as payroll records and confidential business information. Once they have this information, they may then use it for any purpose. However, in the past, victims have only had recourse if their computers had been cleaned of any information that could be used to hurt them.
Today, with the vast power and resources of the Internet and the World Wide Web, attackers have become much more sophisticated, and they use cyber warfare techniques to try to infiltrate businesses and private computer systems. These methods range from denial of service attacks, which block a network until the problem is resolved; to attacks that try to deny access to Internet services or to lower the security level of a system. Other types of attacks include intrusion detection systems, or what are called “IDS systems,” which watch for signs of malicious software and other attacks. These attacks can result in serious damage to a business’ reputation and may even cost the business customers.
Prevention is better than cure. Businesses need to ensure that they are doing all that they can to protect themselves from hackers. Some measures are more important than others, and the effectiveness of any program or solution greatly depends on the quality and scope of the protection that it provides. One thing that is very important is to not give hackers a way to break into a system through back door methods. Many companies offer firewalls that can help prevent unauthorized access to servers and files, but some businesses choose not to use them because of a lack of an effective firewall.
For example, if an employee in the accounting department forgets to reset a setting on their computer, the firewall that was supposed to prevent unauthorized access will be ineffective. Without a good antivirus program, employees may unknowingly download a virus that allows hackers to gain access to sensitive information about a company. This means that a simple mistake that one employee can make can allow attackers to take down a business in a matter of minutes. Businesses that rely on the Internet for their business need to understand how cyber warfare affects them and take measures to prevent it from happening.
Some companies that are susceptible to cyber warfare include those that provide web hosting services, online shopping sites, online gaming sites, financial services, email systems, and any other type of business that relies on information sharing and interaction over the Internet. Businesses that do not make the effort to protect themselves and their information from these potential attackers face the risk of losing business and financial stability. Companies that try to fight cyber warfare by itself may not be as successful as they think.