Most people have heard of the term “cyber warfare”. For most of us this term brings to mind military installations, with nerds staring at green computer screens, working feverishly to keep missiles from launching against some enemy across the globe. Or perhaps it is nation states sneaking around computer networks stealing data, or shutting down the power grid. The reality is that cyber war is real, and it has nothing to do with what we envision.
In today's world cyber war is being fought by both nation states and organized criminal syndicates. The war is between the nation states and criminal syndicates, and the governments, and businesses of the world. In other words you are at the front lines of this war. The businesses and governments of Northern Michigan are being attacked constantly. The weapons are sophisticated, effective, and dangerous.
The attacks are against the very data and computer systems that run our businesses and governments. The attacks are known as “crypto locker”, “ransomware”, “worms” and “viruses”. These attacks can result in data being destroyed, or held for ransom. These attacks can result in our personal data being stolen, and used for extortion or fraud. The costs of these attacks can be counted in dollars, productivity, and peace of mind. Our enemy cares not that we are small business, small communities, safe communities, isolated communities. They don’t know that there is a big beautiful lake across the street. Or that you keep your doors unlocked at night. They only know that there is a computer at the other end of their attack, and that the data on that computer is valuable.
Our businesses and governments are at war with these nation states and criminal syndicates, and it is a one-sided war. A war where defense is our only protection. There is no offense in this war. The only thing we can do is to put up as tough a defense as possible.
While not a complete security solution, these 5 items will go a long way to helping you protect yourself in the war you are fighting.
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