Companies should stop telling themselves that their network security systems are enough against any cyber threats looming in the Internet’s horizon nowadays. In fact, they should stop waiting for these threats to happen in their systems before they take any action against it. The risk of these cyber crimes isn’t a laughing matter and imminent doom is the only thing that awaits irresponsible and reckless companies.
Because of the constant change in our world today, the threats in the network systems of companies are further evolving and it may come from any kind of vector – mobile phones person to person networks, social media, Emails, web applications and so much more. To make matters worse, the security defenses and methods the companies employ like the regular penetration testing and anti virus software is being left behind. The technologies and skills these cyber criminals employ are sometimes far more superior than any other IT experts working as security administrators in different companies.
Due to their superiority when it comes to skill and tools used in hacking, creating sophisticated codes for malware, spear phishing and bot nets, committing cyber crime nowadays is as easy as pie. As a matter of fact, some cyber criminals don’t even need to lift a finger to do a thing; everything he wants to be done will be accomplished by the software he an unwilling victim downloads.
Aside from that, cyber criminals who are expert in writing different sophisticated software used in cyber crimes can even sell their software on a certain price to other criminals who lack the sophistication, skills and knowledge to make their own code. Thus, anyone who wants to hack a certain establishment will be able to use sophisticated software to accomplish everything he needs to be accomplished. The best example of sophisticated malware that is being sold in the Internet nowadays is the ZeuS malware. This dangerous malware is highly sophisticated and can be programmed to do different task depending on the type of attack a ZeuS user may want; ZeuS can also be used in building a much potent threat – bot nets.
Many security experts are getting more and more concerned about the evolution of cyber crime. Furthermore, the integration of these cyber crimes into an organized crime has created a greater scope of threat in many industries today. Criminals in cyber underground can share the sensitive information they have or work together to build a team to take down the tough security systems of some company. It’s an A-team of criminals adept in making codes, decrypting encrypted files, intelligence gathering deploying malware and scanning company systems for vulnerabilities they can exploit.
Nowadays, cybercrime has become a profession to some individuals and the levels of professionalism they have can be amazing. Potential clients will approach cyber criminals in these underground forums where clients can hire them to initiate attacks to specific targets – of course on a certain price. They will pay these crooks to launch DDoS attacks, steal or destroy sensitive information or others. But before clients hire these crooks, clients would often ask them to show their skills and how good they are in their trade.
Still, not all cyber criminals assemble teams to work together for a single purpose; individual cyber criminals can work on their own because of their bot nets. And what motivates them in making these crimes is the cash they could acquire from different companies like banks and other financial institutions. But some of those criminals aren’t focusing on financial institutions only; why would they hack on banking networks where there are securities that are tough to break or circumvent. They would rather hack the networks of some large scale businesses and institutions like restaurants, universities and hospitals. They can still get the needed information of their target without having to face difficult security systems.
These threats aren’t only used in stealing or making profit from different companies, sometimes these threats are used in attacking different governments. Espionage has become easy because of the Internet; any country could steal important information or make any destabilization plots against the target country.
Indeed, whether it is the government or other private industries, it is important to strengthen their defenses against cybercrimes. They should explore the vulnerabilities of their systems which can be exploited; it is easy to identify the vulnerabilities of network by completing a simple pen test. It can only be done by an expert in network security who has completed penetration testing training.
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce. It is the owner and developer of 20 security certifications. EC-Council has trained over 90,000 security professionals and certified more than 40,000 members. These certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies. They also offer trainings in penetration testing.
More information about EC-Council is available at www.eccouncil.org.