Due to the fact that so many networks are now interconnected in the business world, focusing solely on one organization's security will do no good in the long run. Instead, experts have to look closely at every interdependent company within the chain to ensure the safety of data for just one. If even one company is at risk, or worse, breached, the safety of all others is threatened. For IT professionals gaining CompTIA security certification or company IT training, it is vital to know how every branch would be affected if a large attack occurred. This domino effect is important to keep in mind as there continue to be advances in cybersecurity.
The Ripple Effects
The media attention that accompanied the cyber hacks of large companies, including Target, Adobe and Sony, has put cybersecurity into the minds of consumers around the world. Something that once was barely thought about has now found itself at the forefront of a in-depth investigation into security on multiple levels. While this fame brought this danger into the public eye, it also draws attention to the lack of coverage of similar attacks on small businesses. These vendors sometimes cannot afford the defenses used by bigger companies, which leads their data to be breached easily. The 2015 Cisco Annual Security Report also supports this idea, finding middle-sized or large organizations usually have more sophisticated security measures.
On a grander scale, the containment of a large network disruption will be seemingly impossible. Not only will it trickle down to smaller companies, but it could affect larger networks on a state, national or even worldwide level. The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security, a government agency that monitors issues relating to national security and technology, declared cybercrime a national emergency in April 2015 and found that the cost of worldwide hacks is $400 billion per year.
For some businesses, a certain number of vendors have access to their network, and vice versa. A breach at the lowest level could affect the larger parent company, wreaking havoc on every company attached in between. A 2013 Symantec study found that most attacks occurred within smaller business, then putting all business partners at risk.
Removing the Weakest Links
IT professionals know how to guard their companies against hacks of this nature. There are some simple strategies that can help keep a business's data secure, including having employees create complex and often-changing passwords and only allowing certain individuals access to high-level information. With these precautions, among others, in place, a large data breach can hopefully be avoided.
It is difficult to keep up with different methods of attack as they are frequently changing, especially for students receiving network security training certification. The interconnectedness of networks across the world puts companies at risk of hack, but it also bands them together against the agents causing them. With more education on breaches and better communication about the management of security software, the goal is to slow the effect, one domino at a time.
- Forbes More on the Cybersecurity Domino Effect
- Red Seal Study Uncovers Effects from Widespread CyberattacksSan Francisco, CA