Cyber Cold War and Main Street
Recent reports of hacking of news organizations such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal tied to China, Akamai’s latest threat report showing 1/3 of malicious traffic coming from China and a Mandiant report detailing widespread cyber hacking of US interests linked to a Shanghai unit of the Chinese military, have brought about intense focus on Chinese cyber espionage tactics. At the same, this risks distracting from other known cyber threats such as Russia or Iran.
There is a proverb, “when elephants dance, the grass is nervous.” When it comes to cyber security, it appears that there is a false sense of complacency and a view that the a cyberspace battle would be between state actors and large business interests and not impact them. A recent Symantec survey of small business owners revealed that the “grass should be nervous” but are remarkably unconcerned and unprepared in the event of an attack, even though small and medium size businesses (SMBs) are often targeted for cyber attacks because they are perceived as the weak link in the chain.
We want U.S. small businesses to understand they cannot completely remain safe from cyber threats if they do not take the necessary precautions. . . . . It’s terrifying that the majority of U.S. small businesses believe their information is protected, yet so many do not have the required policies or protection in place to remain safe. Almost 40 percent of the over 1 billion cyberattacks Symantec prevented in the first three months of 2012 targeted companies with less than 500 employees. And for the small, poorly protected companies that suffer an attack, it’s often fatal to their business.
NOTE: I talked with Stan Stahl of Citadel security about the latest wave of Cyber Attacks on last week’s Cyber Law and Business Report. Listen here.
For those in Los Angeles, the Information Systems Security Association of Los Angeles (ISSA-LA) will be having their annual security summit featuring former Google CEO Howard Schmidt (the nation’s first U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator), on Tuesday May 21st at the Hilton Universal City.