The cyber-security industry has always been a billion dollar behemoth ever since data turned to gold over the Third Industrial Revolution.
So like how Gold is stored in a vault, Data is stored in secure’ Clouds’. In similarity, like how banks can be broken into, Clouds can be hacked into.
There have been numerous bank heists over the last few decades that have gone down in the annals of history. And data breaches happen every second across the globe. However, the Equifax meltdown will go down in the books as the biggest data breach in history, and as a major turning point in Cyber-Security.
Data Storage Management and Aggregation giant Equifax reported the biggest infiltration on September 7th, 2017! And the hack set in motion, a chain of events that will change how companies function and disperse resources forever!
In an official statement with the media, Equifax’s chairman and acting CEO Richard Smith, reported that sensitive information relating to Social Security Numbers (Personal Account Numbers), tax filings and investment information of 143 million of their customers were accessed. The company scrambled to pin-point which all customers were affected in the breach, and hence setup a third party site called TrustID. The third party page was used for customers to check whether their accounts were hacked into or not. However, Equifax’s customers criticised TrustID’s user agreement policy, which waived off the customers’ right to join a Class Action Lawsuit. This resulted in Attorney General Eric Schneiderman getting involved to demand the removal of the terms on the site, and ordered an official national inquiry into the matter.
Amidst the confusion, Bloomberg reported that 3 executives from Equifax liquidated all their shares, amounting to 1.8 Million USD. This resulted in a drop in the company’s share value against the S&P500 index.
Further investigations divulged that Equifax had employed Apache Struts, which is a web framework coded using the Java programming language. Analysts and technicians claim that the framework possessed a certain porous structure which hackers could exploit. Yet Equifax released a statement, in their press release, that they were aware of the flaw and took the necessary steps. But in vain! The failure resulted in the resignation of CEO Richardson, and a sense of fear amongst the shareholders and investors of the firm, which manages the data of around 800 million customers and organisations across the globe.
In the Indian subcontinent, more than 22,000 websites and 114 government portals were hacked into from April 2017 to January 2018. An inquisitive report showed that 493 of these hacks were used for malware propagation. This wreaked havoc within the IT Ministry, as this posed a serious threat to the Indian IT vision, where the country’s investments amount to 14,099 Crores in Software Parks (STPIs) and a whopping 136,000 Crores for the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Despite taking adequate precautions, cyber criminals were able to by-pass a million dollar firewall and access sensitive data. That’s primarily due to the proficiency of the criminals to continuously adapt themselves to fight even the most strongest of firewalls and software protocols.
Cyber-security firms have begun incorporating AI and Machine Learning (ML) into their digital security fortresses. The intelligent software is aligned to detect threats and infiltrations, and trigger an immediate Response Action Team (RAT) to counter the breach. The mechanism would prove beneficial, in the case of protecting sensitive data.
Blockchain technology, the new kid on the block, has become a favourite for the protection against data manipulation. Financial records within banking institutions can be stored on a blockchain, and cannot be tampered with unless the hacker is able to access every storage device across the blockchain. And that kind of computing power is non-existent, yet. With the development of Quantum Computational devices in the pipelines, the blockchain will also need to adapt in order to fight them off!
Second Edition Big Cyber-Security Show and Awards is a focused conclave, scheduled to be held in Mumbai on the 6th of September, 2018. The show will bring together regional and international cyber-security firms and experts, to explore how organisations and businesses can implement digital security features to protect their data. They event will also aim to engage the delegates, in order to bring about awareness regarding the latest trends in security protocols. If you want to learn more, or you wish to connect with these experts, you can confirm your participation for the event over here.