Kenny Natiss is the owner of LCO Group based out of New York, New York. In the following article, Mr. Natiss discusses growing cybersecurity threats in the modern digital age and how blockchain could be a solution.
As the Internet continues to grow at a nearly exponential rate, the range and severity of cybersecurity threats grow with it. With more and more devices and systems connected to the web, there are more opportunities for malicious actors to exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to sensitive data reports Kenny Natiss.
Cybersecurity continues to be a leading focus for many corporate, personal, and governmental bodies. As quantum computing becomes a factor of everyday life, the limitations of our over-reliance on digital infrastructure will become incredibly apparent. However, with a shift toward blockchain technologies, the financial risks of porous cybersecurity could be mitigated.
Thankfully, an entire industry of digital developers continues to work to fight cyberattacks. Today, Kenny Natiss explores some of the greatest cybersecurity threats in the modern world and discusses how we can fight back to keep the Internet and digital databases safe from maleficent bad actors.
Quantum Computing Could Undo Years of Encryption Technology
From the National Security Agency to Facebook and even your online bank account, encryption technologies make up the backbone of modern digital security systems. This technology works by scrambling data so that it is unreadable by anyone who doesn’t have the key to decrypt it explains Kenny Natiss.
The level of complexity depends on the strength of the encryption algorithm being used. Stronger algorithms are more complex, requiring more processing power, but are also more difficult to break. Kenny Natiss says that many algorithms are even designed to be nearly impossible to crack, requiring thousands of years of processing time to break into.
Unfortunately, though, quantum computing could undo all of this effort in a matter of days. Hackers are already gathering troves of data that they cannot currently access with the foreknowledge that quantum computers will one day be able to break the codes according to Kenny Natiss. These files contain millions of people’s financial records, top-secret government documents, medical histories, and even corporate banking details.
By relying on qubits, which can represent both a binary 1 and 0 at the same time, quantum computing can overcome the limitations of standard processing power, driving a revolution in digital technology. With this revolution, though, quantum computers will be able to make short work of traditional encryption algorithms, granting hackers access to private data troves.
The only way to combat this threat is to develop new encryption algorithms that are resistant to quantum computing. This is a difficult task, though, as quantum computers are not yet widely available. However, research is ongoing and there are a few promising solutions in development says Kenny Natiss.
Social Engineering Remains One of the Biggest Cyber Security Threats
While quantum computing presents a unique and dangerous threat to the digital world, social engineering has been and continues to be one of the most significant cyber security risks. This type of attack uses psychological manipulation to trick people into divulging sensitive information or granting access to systems and data.
Kenny Natiss says that one of the most common social engineering attacks is phishing, in which hackers send emails that appear to be from a legitimate source in an attempt to get the recipient to click on a malicious link or attachment. Once the victim clicks, their device is infected with malware, or they are redirected to a fake website designed to steal their login credentials.
Other popular social engineering attacks include vishing (voice phishing), smishing (SMS phishing), baiting (leaving infected devices in public places), and tailgating (following someone into a secure area without proper authorization). These types of attacks are successful because they exploit human nature. People are naturally trusting and often click on links or open attachments without thinking twice. Hackers know this and use it to their advantage.
Kenny Natiss says the best way to combat social engineering attacks is to raise awareness and train people to be suspicious of unsolicited emails, texts, and phone calls. It is also important to have strong policies and procedures in place to verify the identity of someone before granting them access to sensitive data or systems.
The Rise of Personal Devices in Corporate America is Leaving Businesses Exposed
In today’s digital world, people are increasingly reliant on their personal devices to stay connected and productive. This trend is especially prevalent in the corporate world, where employees often use their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets for work tasks.
While there are many benefits to this BYOD (bring your own device) culture, it also creates new cybersecurity risks. When businesses allow employees to use their own devices, they lose control over what type of hardware and software is being used. This makes it difficult to ensure that all devices are properly secured and up to date with the latest security patches reports Kenny Natiss.
Another issue is that personal devices are often not as well protected as corporate-issued ones. Employees are less likely to have strong password protection or antivirus software installed on their personal devices. This leaves businesses exposed if an employee’s device is lost or stolen.
The best way to combat this risk is to have a strong BYOD policy in place that outlines the security measures employees must take to ensure their devices are safe to use for work tasks. The policy should also include provisions for remote wiping of data in the event a device is lost or stolen. Alternatively, companies can mandate that employees only use provided devices to conduct business.
Government-Backed Hackers are Receiving More Funding than Private Security Firms
In recent years, there has been a shift in the way that governments view cyber security. In the past, most governments considered cyber security to be a purely technical issue. However, as the number and severity of cyberattacks have increased, governments are beginning to realize that cybersecurity is a national security issue according to Kenny Natiss.
This has led to a dramatic increase in funding for government-backed cyber security initiatives. In the United States, for example, the intelligence community’s budget has grown by more than $10 billion since 2012. This trend is also occurring in other countries, such as China, Russia, and Iran.
While this increase in funding is a positive development, Kenny Natiss explains that it also creates a new risk. Government-backed hackers now have more resources than ever to develop new and sophisticated attacks. They are also less likely to be caught and punished since they are acting on behalf of their government.
This has been highly publicized in recent years, especially following the exposure of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Other examples can be found in two government-backed heists involving North Korean hackers who stole nearly $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, China has been found spying on Russian activity in the nation’s lead-up to the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The best way to combat these risks is for private security firms to keep pace with the government-backed hackers in terms of funding and resources. This is a difficult task, though, as private firms are up against well-funded and organized groups. However, by pooling resources and sharing information, private firms can better compete against government-backed hackers.
Advanced Spyware Technologies Can Exploit Once-Secure Systems
In recent years, spyware technology has become particularly aggressive in its ability to find and exploit gaps in security protocols. This has led many security analysts to worry that their work may be susceptible even after combing through the code for errors. In fact, some spyware has even been able to bypass the limitations of traditional software by infecting devices remotely.
For example, in 2016, the cyber security firm NSO Group developed a new type of spyware called Pegasus. Kenny Natiss explains that this spyware is unique in that it can infect both iOS and Android devices. Once infected, the spyware gives attackers full access to the victim’s device, including their camera, microphone, and text messages.
Pegasus is particularly dangerous because it can exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities in iOS and Android devices. This allows the spyware to infect devices that have all of the latest security patches installed. We’ve already seen this happen on a political level in Thailand as a means of tracking and undermining democratic activists.
The best way to protect against Pegasus and other similar spyware is to be aware of the risks. Users should only download apps from trusted sources and avoid clicking on links from unknown or untrustworthy sources. It is also important to keep all devices up to date with the latest security patches.
A Lack of Legislation to Stop Cyberattacks Signals Complacency
In the United States, there is currently a lack of federal laws that specifically criminalize cyberattacks. This is a problem because it signals complacency on the part of lawmakers. Cybersecurity is a complex issue and one that requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach.
The lack of federal legislation also hampers the ability of law enforcement to prosecute hackers. In many cases, hackers are only charged with crimes that are tangentially related to their cyberattacks, such as identity theft or fraud. This often results in light sentences that do not reflect the severity of the damage caused.
The situation is similar in other countries. In the UK, for example, the Computer Misuse Act 1990 only criminalizes unauthorized access to computer systems. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation and has resulted in a number of high-profile cyberattacks that have gone unpunished.
The solution to this problem is twofold. First, lawmakers need to pass legislation that specifically criminalizes cyberattacks. Second, law enforcement agencies need to be better equipped to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes. This will require more training and resources, but it is essential to deter future attacks.
Blockchain Could Be the Solution to Data Security Issues
As the world becomes more and more digital, the need for secure data storage solutions becomes more apparent. Traditional databases are vulnerable to attack and are often centralized, making them a single point of failure. Blockchain, on the other hand, is a distributed database that is incredibly difficult to hack.
This is because each block in the chain is linked to the one before and after it, creating a digital paper trail that is nearly impossible to tamper with. In addition, blockchain is decentralized, meaning that there is no single point of failure. Even if one node in the network is compromised, the rest of the network remains secure.
For these reasons, blockchain is being touted as a possible solution to the data security issues that plague the modern world. By storing data on a blockchain, organizations can be sure that it is secure, tamper-proof, and decentralized.
Of course, blockchain is not a perfect solution. The technology is still in its infancy and there are a few challenges that need to be addressed before it can be widely adopted. For example, blockchain databases can be quite large, making them difficult to manage and store.
In addition, blockchain is not yet compatible with all existing systems and applications. However, these challenges are being addressed and it is only a matter of time before blockchain becomes a standard part of the digital landscape.
Careful Post-Attack Protocols Could Identify Gaps in the System and Track Attackers
Once a cyberattack has occurred, it is important to have careful post-attack protocols in place to identify gaps in the system and track down the attackers. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but it is essential to deter future attacks.
One of the most important steps in the post-attack protocol is to contain the damage. This often involves isolating the affected systems and devices from the rest of the network. This can be a difficult task, especially if the attackers gained access to critical systems but, once the damage has been contained, targets can then assess the extent of the damage and identify points of entry.
This information can be used to patch the security hole and prevent future attacks. Additionally, it can help to track down the attackers and bring them to justice. This often requires working with law enforcement agencies and other organizations but by working backward through the attack, targets can better defend themselves in the future.
The Bottom Line
Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving as the digital world becomes more complex. As quantum computing and blockchain become a factor in everyday life, the need for secure data storage and transmission solutions will become even more apparent. Fortunately, there is a whole industry of digital developers working to fight back against these threats. By raising awareness and developing new technologies, we can keep the Internet safe for everyone.