Cyber attacks are escalating

Jun 28, 2011

Remember when we used to call the Internet the "information superhighway"? Today, that highway is starting to resemble the route Mad Max traveled in The Road Warrior. You can't go out on it without inviting an attack. Hardly a week goes by without seeing news reports about another corporation being sabotaged by hackers ... Sony, Intel, Google, and Lockheed are some of the more high profile victims.

For consumers, the biggest cyber threat is identity theft and stolen credit card numbers. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This month on The Digital Future, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson looks at the huge increase in Advanced Persistent Threats: efforts by nation-states to steal information and technology.

Who's behind the attacks? Nine times out ten, Mark says, China is implicated. Many of the victims are in industries that are strategically important to China, and/or are engaged in business with China. But these charges can be hard to prove, and China has "plausible deniability" on its side.

The world's corporations are under attack, and Mark says they need to take strict measures to protect their "crown jewels" of intellectual property. They need to take the same steps that the Pentagon takes to protect its secrets:

  • Identify your most important intellectual property assets.
  • Sequester that information onto a small number of limited access servers.
  • Never allow those servers to be connected to the Internet.

And if your company gets hacked, don't keep quiet. Mark says secrecy plays right into the hands of the attackers, and corporations need to speak out and become part of the solution to stopping these attacks.