Collaboration is Essential to Thwart Cyber Attacks
October 12, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor
It’s hard for some consumers to trust the companies with which they interact when we continue to hear about data breaches and weak firewalls. We believe we have everything under control on our end, so companies and other organizations should be able to do the same. What we fail to understand is the massive threat that actually exists and our own actions are far more likely to compromise our information.
Fortunately, companies, organizations and government entities are focused on cybersecurity and seeking to pool their resources and information in order to better protect their networks and information. A recent Government Technology piece highlights the reality that while these organizations have considerable resources at their disposal, they can’t see everything that’s out there. Without collaboration among those working to protect their entities, those on the attack will have the upper hand.
This is especially important in government technology. One agency may be connected to 15 other government agencies. The breach of one firewall can easily grant access to all other connected agencies, making it an extremely successful day for the hacker. If the agencies aren’t working together to share information, such as call accounting records to possibly uncover fraudulent activity, vulnerabilities are increased.
To respond, these agencies need to create security across the entire infrastructure. In doing so, it’s easy to ignore points of vulnerability. The VoIP connection, for instance, is an entry point that needs to be protected. However, it’s easily overlooked as simply the phone system and not an important part of the network infrastructure. Call accounting solutions help to track activity and identify threats, but they cannot exist in a vacuum if they are to deliver the intended value and protection.
At the same time, bringing together different players in different agencies and organizations also means the collaboration of individuals who bring different skill sets to the table. Such an approach helps to shore up any weaknesses there may be in one agency’s strategy simply because they lack the expertise in a certain area. If another agency provides the individual with that expertise, the organization can eliminate a vulnerability that not puts them at risk, but also potentially others that may be connected within their system.
The point is collaboration in the quest to stay ahead of network vulnerabilities is essential. Those working to find vulnerabilities in systems are sharing information on a regular basis, strengthening their alliances to gain the upper hand. The “good guys” have to do the same if they want the potential to thwart the attacks and keep their networks safe.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi