A few years ago I sat in an audience a bit shocked as I watched an Albuquerque Police Department officer show us how to build a meth lab. Systematically, he explained what parts were needed, where they could be purchased, the ingredients required, dangers to watch for, and then the actual steps to cook the meth.
To the typical law abiding citizen, it might seem inappropriate that something so harmful could be presented so casually. It also seemed a bit ironic to hear this from a police officer who works in the city recently made famous by the series Breaking Bad. However, he went on to explain that everything he had talked about was readily available on the internet and that accessibility is only contributing to the exponential growth of this serious problem.
Unfortunately, the same situation is true for cyber-crime. Today, you can Google “How to hack a network,” “How to DDOS a website,” or “How to crack a password” and easily find step-by-step instructions for doing so. For those who are more visual learners and would prefer videos, they are readily available on YouTube and even sub-titled for your convenience. All of this is freely and easilyaccessible on-line to everyone.
Of course, some people don’t want to learn all of the technical stuff and just want an “off the shelf” program to do it. These guys are known as “script kiddies” and have at their disposal a large number of effective, easily downloadable programs capable of breaching other’s networks and computers. Even more alarming is that now on the “dark net” they can launch a ransomware attack against the targets of their choice and hold computers locked and data encrypted until a ransom is paid.
But another option also exists. Just like the guy who wanted Walter White to do all the dirty work for him, you can now simply hire someone else to hack a password, destroy a website, or launch a DDOS attack (for which you pay by the hour) all while you sit comfortably in your own home and watch reruns ofBreaking Bad.
My point is, we shouldn’t think that cyber-crime is going to get any better because it’s only becoming easier to do. There will always be the nation-states and organized crime syndicates (the “Walter Whites” so-to-speak) orchestrating massive cyber-attacks. But more and more there will be the “little neighborhood meth labs” – the DIYers – popping up and taking advantage of the ill-prepared.
Cyber-crime is not going to get any better because it’s only becoming easier to do.
So it’s important to have an effective, layered cyber-security defense in place – one that includes a powerful next-generation firewall, regular system updates and back-ups, current virus and malware protection, data encryption, network monitoring, and an interactive employee education program so that they are aware of the real and growing threat that exists.
If you would like more information on how we at Axiom Cyber Solutions can help you do this, email me at [email protected] or call 1-800-519-5070.