Uri Brison, cybersecurity expert and CEO of personal anti-hacking solution startup LogDog, says Sony isn’t to blame – real cybersecurity solutions are only being created now.
In a year with a number of giant corporations taken down by hackers, the Sony Pictures cyber attack could have the most serious ramifications for transnational security. Though the amount of personal information about Sony employees that was leaked onto the internet was shocking, the most surprising outcome of this attack has been Sony’s decision to cancel the release of its 2014 Christmas hit comedy, The Interview, in response to the hackers’ terror threats.
Sony’s cancelation instilled rightful outrage among filmmakers and moviegoers regarding censorship and freedom of speech. It also sent hackers a message: Take control of our information, and we’ll do whatever you say.
Sony’s response to this attack further perpetuated the underlying problem that has made these types of hacks possible to begin with: When it comes to cybersecurity, hackers have the upper hand. Why? Because the playing field isn’t even, and the way we’re addressing cybersecurity today is outdated.
Why the “build a better lock” approach to cybersecurity no longer works
Every year, Sony and other giant corporations invest tremendous amounts of money and effort in protecting their systems and reputations. They build their security teams with talented engineers and programmers, and buy the best security software on the market.
But as computer systems become more intricate and complicated, they are ever more difficult to secure completely. The “build a better lock” approach no longer works, since hackers always seem to find a way to pick the lock. The fact that most systems are connected to the internet and are thus easily accessible makes this situation all the more problematic.
Meanwhile, hackers are winning at every turn as they gain access to just about everything. And this isn’t unique to major corporations. Medium-sized businesses, small companies, personal online accounts — everything gets breached. Today, one in four online accounts gets hacked, and that’s hardly a surprise.
In light of this reality, it’s obvious there’s little Sony could have done to protect itself from this attack. Once it was in the hacker’s crosshairs, it was only a matter of time.
As it stands right now, determined hackers have the upper hand. But does this mean we’re destined to remain one step behind hackers, in constant fear of cybercrime?
I don’t think so. If we toss the old “build a better lock” paradigm and address security in more advanced and modernized ways, the tide will turn in our favor.
The solutions companies like Sony need have only been in development for a year and a half or so
Groups of cybersecurity innovators are now developing new, more effective concepts for securing digital systems. These concepts are focused on “pattern analysis,” where cyber solutions constantly monitor systems and establish behavior profiles that allow abnormal activity to be detected and analyzed. Baseline “normal behavior” profiles can be used to detect the anomalies generated by hacker activity. And by detecting this activity early, control can be taken back from the hands of hackers and damage can be minimized.
It’s high time we approach cybersecurity differently. In order to regain the upper hand against hackers, these types of new security solutions must be implemented across the board: in the systems of multinational companies, small and medium sized businesses alike, and in the personal accounts we all use every day, from our email to our favorite social networks. Change will come, but a change in the old ways of thinking about cybersecurity must come first.
The views expressed are of the author.
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