Introduction to enemies. Jump a few centuries

Introduction After the invention of any product, people are wary of how it can be used in a harmful manner or in a way that will result in them being negatively impacted. When explosives were first popularized by the military in ancient China as effective signaling devices, they were withheld from distribution to the public in fear of them being traded to enemies. Jump a few centuries forward and every single country is in possession of explosives and not for signaling. Similarly, when the Internet was created it was only available to research and development facilities. However, since then the Internet has become widespread and has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location. For this exact reason, the Internet has become a prime mode of incursion for aggressors as it requires the least physical and financial assets but can wreak more havoc than any other form of aggression towards a country. This has resulted in research and studies being done on the best method of defense and prevention along with how the businesses of different countries can use this to their advantage in order to eliminate foreign competition. As the nature of these attacks are developing and evolving so fast, it is difficult for every country to assess all aspects of this cyber system. This reveals a gap in the research of the targetization and exploitation of American companies by foreign organizations from other countries. This paper seeks to reveal the scale to which American companies have been exploited and the extent of the resulting losses.Review of LiteratureCyber attacks Cyber attacks have become something that are a growing phenomenon in today’s world. Their easiness and low requirement of resources make them the ideal mode of terroristic activity. American security software company Symantec released a report in 2017 that said the 7.1 billion identities worldwide have been exposed in the last 8 years. These shocking numbers show that either almost every single person alive in the past 8 years has had their identity exposed or many people have had their identities exposed multiple times. This statistic is even more interesting however when compared with the numbers of each individual year. In the same report, Symantec also said that identity exposure has actually had a not so steady increase ranging in the past 8 years. The statistics showed that from a meager 246.6 million in 2009, the number of identity exposure skyrocketed to a whopping 1.1 billion in 2016.These numbers conclude that cyber attacks are only projected to increase which makes research and development dedicated towards them ever more significant. However, this report failed to provide detailed categories of each cyberattack and its origin. This raises the question as to why there seems to be no slowing down of the number of these cyber attacks or an increase in research on where they are coming from. Is it possible that the U.S. government is unaware or simply doesn’t care about these attacks? It continues to raise questions about the issue of cybersecurity and what prevents a large scale cyber defense upgrade. The types of cyber attacks. An important factor when analyzing cybersecurity is trying to understand the types of attacks that are used by the aggressors. The first thing that needs to be discussed when analyzing this is the simple matter of why cyber attacks are so difficult to trace back to hackers. Often times, aggressors use different methods to cover their tracks in a manner that makes it either impossible to find them or it is so difficult that sometimes it is not worth the time and effort. One such method is breaking into poorly secured computers and using those hacked systems as proxies through which they launch attacks worldwide. This is frustrating to law enforcement as such attacks are an international problem but there are not any international countermeasures that can be taken. The Canadian Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has provided an article in which it brings attention the most common cyber threats. One of the easiest attacks that is relatively popular among aggressors is the Distributed Denial-of-Service attack. In this attack, the perpetrator floods the targeted machine with a large number of requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent legitimate requests from going through. Because user friendly DDoS tools, such as Stacheldraht (Cheng 2005), are accessible and can be easily downloaded from the Internet, anybody from the public who is a computer user can also become DDoS attackers. These attackers occasionally coordinate and express their views of different thing through launching DDoS attacks against organizations and companies whose policies they disagreed with or were not in favor of DDoS attacks also appeared in illegal actions. Companies might use DDoS attacks to surpass or completely eliminate their competition. Attackers threatened online businesses with DDoS attacks and requested payments for protection. The effects of such an attack were studied in an article written in 2003 by Anat Hovav and John D’Arcy, both who are experts Management Information Systems. The article reported the impacts of DDoS attack announcements on the market which was studied through event study methodology. This article is inaccessible and outdated which makes it virtually useless. One of the most dangerous attacks, especially to companies, is known as a worm. A worm is an independent virus that replicates itself so that it may spread to other computers under the same network. Worms can cause monumental amounts of damage by shutting down parts of the Internet or internally destroying a network which can lead to major losses in companies’ revenues. Despite its destructive potential, there is a type of cyber attack that is arguably even worse than that: the hacking of people. This is an insider attack where someone who is trusted becomes untrusted as described in an interview with Mr Matthew Moynahan, CEO of Forcepoint (a company that develops and markets cybersecurity software to prevent employees from viewing inappropriate or malicious content, or leaking confidential data). This interview was found in an article by the Singapore government in which they addressed the weakest link in cyber attacks. The article did not provide a method of prevention for such attacks. The types of targets of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks can be virtually targeted towards anybody without any real reason but research has shown that most cyber attacks are usually launched with a specific agenda towards larger firms and influential political figures. According to Symantec’s 2016 report, during the US presidential election there were more than 5 cyber attacks against the Democratic National Committee which included a breach in its infrastructure and unauthorized access of its network by two Russian groups. This led to the alleged claims of collaboration between President Trump and Putin. This report did not include countermeasures taken by the DNC to recover and patch up their database. Additionally, Fireeye, a publicly listed enterprise cybersecurity company, produced a report in 2017 that showed that 15 percent of all cyber attacks in America were targeted towards the financial industry followed by the healthcare industry. While many organizations have been establishing better testing methodologies such as Red Teaming and Response Readiness Assessments to proactively understand their security posture, it is suspected that the changing nature of attacks has had a significant effect on the previously mentioned numbers. One study that attempts to understand the targeting trends of cyber criminals is the 2001 predictive analysis released by the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College.  The paper conducts a predictive analysis of the potential sources of attacks that could emerge in the wake of U.S. retaliation against the terrorists, the types ofthese attacks, and potential targets. This analysis is well executed but is now outdated as more than 15 years have passed since the release of this paper. All of this adds to the degradation of different companies’ reputations which make them a more attractive target to other attackers. The relationship between the victim and the consumer. Being attacked and breached leaves companies with the shorter end of the stick and many are helpless for a few months until they are finally able to recover and re-establish their defenses. Much of this can be see in the results of Deloitte, a UK-incorporated multinational professional services network, which performed a case-study on a US health insurer that had been the victim of a data breach in which 2.8 million of its personal health information (PHI) records had been stolen from the company’s healthcare analytics software vendor. Technical investigation revealed that cyber attackers had gained access to the patient care application using privileged credentials from the stolen laptop and had created a significant number of user IDs. Consequently, before service could be restored, new user accounts had to be issued for all application users, and new application and system controls were put in place. All of this took months to execute which resulted in many losses. The most surprising statistic in this situation is that 25.61% of the total cost was from lost value of customer relationships. This was second to the 49.43% of total cost from the value of lost contact revenue (premiums). This shows the significance of the reputation of a company to the consumer and the extent to which it can cause financial damage. However this report fails to show attempts companies make in order to retain consumers. This can be seen in a survey done by FireEye in which 5,500 interviews took place during April 2016 with regular consumers aged 18 or older. Interviews were carried out in five territories, with respondents split as follows: France (1,000), Germany (1,000), United Arab Emirates (UAE) (1,000), Nordics (500) and the U.S. (2,000) with natural fall out across gender and age bands. Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate. They discovered that more than 70 percent of respondents would likely leave their business due to improper data handling practices and were even more likely to stop purchasing from a company if a data breach was found to be linked to them. This survey does not include the effect of different types of breaches on the trust of the consumer.Conclusion:  The development of cyberattacks since the creation of the Internet has greatly advanced and evolved. Previously, such attacks were only possible to launch if one was an experienced hacker. However know cyberattacks have become so easy and sucha  viable and effective option of completing whatever it is one wants whether it is to simply spy, acquire data, or disrupt a whole infrastructure. The constant tug-of-war between is cyber security experts and cyber attackers has greatly developed into a worldwide match in which the rope is leaning in the favor of the latter.

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