On 15 August 2012, Saudi Aramco (an energy company) was struck by a malware named Shamoon that stole admin credentials to spread a Disttrack wiper attack on a local network thus bypassing Aramco’s security. This caused over two weeks of irregular system availability after it infected over 30,000 computers. Another cyber security attack then occurred where the orchestrators ensured that it was timed to maximum effect to coincide with Laylat al Qadr, the holiest night of the year for its Muslim population.
And it’s not just the Saudis’ that are under attack as Sony Pictures was targeted too when malware breached their system. Five unreleased films were leaked onto the internet along with the theft of employee data, which included salary details. Here, we look at a few ways that countries could employ to protect themselves from cyber threats.
Digital Threats Are Worldwide
Digital threats are now a significant threat to every nation and countries need to ensure they have maximum security measure in place to secure their sensitive networks. The government should also understand that it needs comprehensive policies to combat cyber attacks on the nation and hammer down on cyber crime and espionage.
Cyber security defenses are paramount if a country is to guarantee its standing in the international community. It should not concentrate on merely protecting itself but should stand internationally and share information with allies while also persuading those countries that target their citizens or their enemy nations that an immediate change of policy is required.
If we look at the Saudi and Sony cases, many cyber experts believe it was an attack from North Korea, though this has never been proven. Unilaterally nations need to take a stand against cyber-aggression from other countries, and they should be subjected to criminal charges or additional legal action if they refuse to comply with international legislation.
The Development of Cyber-Insurance
If a nation is to protect itself from global cyber security attacks, then it must allow the evolution of accountability standards for its major industrial players. This may, in turn, ensure that companies are doing all that is required, and some, to maintain their network against cyber threats.
Once liabilities have been finalized and businesses fully comprehend the consequences, then Cyber-Insurers can designate insurance premiums. So if your company is up-to-date with its cyber security measures, then it should pay lower insurance premiums. The impetus is then on the individual businesses to ensure they comply with current legislation or they will be penalized.
Secure Smartphones And Computers Means Higher Prices
This will certainly be a contentious point, but as components are made worldwide, then the supply-chain should be looked into. Each technology company is evaluated and graded as to how secure its network of suppliers is, culminating in a top grade recognition, industry-wide.
This would allow the consumer to make judgement on what products to purchase based on the degree of security that smartphone or laptop has. Much as white goods have energy grades, so you know what your electrical consumption will be based upon, say, the washing machine you purchase.
The more secure the commodity, the more the company can charge the consumer. If there is a security breach, then the grading is suspended, and investigations take place as to how and what occurred.