While the web has opened wide the doors of opportunity for entrepreneurs around the world, others have shown evidence of creativity as well. Ingenious use of technologies has led to hacktivism, identity theft, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and swatting, to name but a few. Perpetrators use both the latest cyber-techniques and also old-fashioned approaches such as social engineering (a new term for the classic tactics of confidence tricksters). Business continuity and personal security both need to be safeguarded against threats like these. But what is driving the proliferation of such Internet incidents?
The answer is the Internet itself. There is no shortage of information and guides available on the net about how to launch cyber-attacks on both individuals and corporations. To discuss whether this is right or wrong would be to open up a whole new can of worms. Suffice it to say that nowadays anything or anyone can be a cyber-target, and (almost) anyone can be a cyber-assailant. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how to do it. However, it often takes an expert to find out what was done and who was responsible.
Companies now use professional services to cope with or avoid cyber-assaults, with DDoS a high priority. According to Packet Ninjas, one such service provider, the face of IT security has changed radically: it’s now about ‘geopolitics, profits and loss, customer trust, swatting people’s homes, or in extreme cases: death’. Swatting is the term to describe fake calls made to emergency services (as in SWAT – Special Weapons and Tactics teams) to have them intervene on victims’ premises. So what is the business continuity message in all of the above? ‘Expect the unexpected’ would probably sum things up!