A short time from now, on a server not so far away…

If you join the Rebel Alliance, you will, at some point, probably be shot at by Stormtroopers.  Now, as is the case with the approximately 19.6 billion threats that Cisco blocks each day, most of these attacks will likely miss, but the ones that hit their target will hurt.  Likewise, if a company collects data on customers or, even more simply, is online, it has to prepare itself for constant vigilance against malicious hacks into its servers in hackers’ hunt for profitable data.  No one is immune at this stage, a fact reflected in the saying that there are two types of companies—those that have been breached and those that don’t know they have. Vulnerability for organizations is expected to increase, according to a recent Gartner report that asserts the futility of prevention by 2020.  It really does seem like each new data breach is bigger than the last, with a record number of consumer profiles accessed…just like how The Force Awakens keeps breaking records for ticket sales, and is expected to break even more.

The proliferation of connected devices—the Internet of Things (IoT)—only looks to further complicate the issue, writes Teri Robinson at SC Magazine.  IoT will be among the most significant security weak spots in the near future, as monitoring all these devices will become increasingly challenging for a company’s IT security professionals.  Any smart device, from a thermostat to a refrigerator, could be exploited by a hacker to gain entry into the network: great, gaping weak points through which to fire a proton torpedo and make one hell of a mess.

Gartner recommends a number of positive steps businesses need to take to bolster their defenses as the landscape grows constantly more dangerous, including encryption, as well as a larger focus on real-time monitoring, detection and response capabilities.  Not only will prevention be futile in several years, but even now, relying solely on the traditional methods of perimeter protection isn’t going to cut it…much like a few towers and TIE fighters aren’t enough to stop a Force-sensitive pilot from skimming down the trench and—I’m sorry I’ll stop.

As ever, though, says SC Magazine, human error continues to be a primary factor in unwittingly allowing hackers access, whether negligence or ignorance (which makes sense, when this many people still trust content theft sites to provide safe downloads).  Given a figure like Cisco’s 19.6 billion, it’s clear, furthermore, that it isn’t possible for employees to keep up with absolutely everything.  Automation to fill in the gaps and mitigate this error, tools to handle detection and response, is another recommendation.  Let’s face it, you need a droid to understand the binary language of moisture vap—

I’ve been told to stop the lame references.  Anyway, there are a number of steps in total, but what it all comes down to is companies taking a smart, comprehensive, integrated approach.  While this won’t prevent attacks completely, it will make hackers have to work that much harder, and allow security teams to react with greater precision and efficiency.

By: Jonathan Weicher