Hacking and data breaches have been in the public mindset for a long time. But as more technology is integrated into our daily lives and the workplace, you and your firm have become even more susceptible to a hack – highlighting the importance of cybersecurity, an industry Arizona is on the frontline of shaping. You’ve probably seen the splashy headlines about data breaches hitting big names like Banner Health, Chick-fil-A, Equifax, Target, the U.S. Postal Service, Sony, Yahoo! and the list goes on. Like many other people, you might have brushed off those headlines or yawned, thinking you’re glad not to have to manage those damage control teams. But in this growing world of cybercrime and technology, it’s no longer a matter of if you’ll be playing damage control after a data breach at your firm, it’s a matter of when. “Small and medium-sized businesses are drastically underestimating the risk by just thinking, ‘They’re not interested in me,’” says Michael Cocanower, founder and president of Phoenix-based itSynergy. “In fact, hackers are very interested in you. They realize, ‘I can spend six months hacking into Target, or I can spend this afternoon hacking into your 20-person company and make $10,000 off that.’” Cybercrime has cost businesses, individuals, governments and the world game-changing amounts of money. Cost of cybercrime Cybersecurity Ventures, a research and market intelligence firm, reports the cost of cybercrime will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion by 2021. United Kingdom-based research firm Juniper Research predicts cybercrime will cost businesses alone more than $2 trillion by 2019. However you cut it, cybersecurity will only get more serious and more important as time moves on. Many businesses are unprepared, with 87 percent of small businesses reporting that they do not have a formal written Internet security policy, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. Also, The National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 60 percent of small companies are unable to stay in business six months after a cyberattack. Cocanower says business owners need to be much more aware of cybercrime and the importance of having their cybersecurity systems up to snuff. There are a variety of ways hackers can infiltrate your business and you need to be aware of them, Cocanower says. Phishing scams and downloading malware or viruses are probably the most common and known. But you could also be compromised by inputting your password on a website you think is real, using open Wi-Fi, the list of risks goes on. Nothing Web-connected is safe either. Your smart phone, watch, car and Web-connected toaster oven are just the newest items susceptible to attack. Sure, you can download the latest anti-virus software, hire a skilled cybersecurity team (if you can find people who are qualified and available) and do 100 different things to keep your company secure, but that’s still not enough. Why? “The weakest link in any system is the human being,” Cocanower says.
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There have been a number of high-profile hacks recently, evidently demonstrating that hiding and using secrest on the Internet is still really difficult. From the $5 million in bitcoin lost at Bitstamp to the Sony hack, it is clear that a new approach to the problem is required. Recently, I was at CES, and the IoT is moving along at breakneck speed, with barely and afterthought for cyber security. All of the things end up controlled by a smartphone or PC. The integrity of the connection from your computing device to your house, car or medical equipment will need the same peer-to-peer security that bitcoin requires. So how should we all be approaching the problem? All private keys should be protected by tamper-resistant hardware — a device, not the operating system. Smart cards or USB tokens are great solutions, but the embedded trusted execution environment provides the built-in solution we all desire. It also provides the tamper-resistant security to match that of a SIM module, but it is not controlled by the carrier. In addition to access, the instruction sent to a cloud service or another device should be encrypted (for privacy) and signed (for integrity), assuring that the intended action is not corrupted. This critical step is mostly overlooked on today’s systems. Protecting the instruction assures that the intended action is actually what happens. Instructions are critical interactions between the client and the cloud. Rivetz leverages the trusted execution environment to assure the formation of the highest quality instructions. Trusted user input and output is by far the hardest piece of the puzzle. This is where an uncorrupted presentation of the intended transaction to the user and the proper collection of the user’s consent is executed. Secure display in combination with a secure PIN or secure biometrics is ultimately required to be fully effective. The technology to do this is just now being integrated but is not available on most platforms. Intel has been at the forefront of trusted display for a number of years. Rivetz is now demonstrating the trusted user interface on Intel and on some Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phablets released in December.
Continue Reading: Cyber Security and Blockchain – AlleyWatch