Despite the first rule of war being “know your enemy,” many IT professionals do not know whom they are fighting in the cyber war. You can’t truly defend yourself without knowing who, or what, to defend against. There are plenty of misconceptions out there about who cyber criminals are and why they do what they do. The following is the reality about the cyber war you are engaged in and who cyber criminals are.
You are not fighting a revolutionary war
Although the vigilante hackers make the news, they represent a small percentage of cyber criminals. The hackers you are likely to encounter are attacking you for personal gain and profit.
You are fighting an international war
Many hackers are based in countries with educated citizens, but few job opportunities. Hacking is easy, fast money; in fact, many cyber criminals can make more in a month than average citizens make in a year.
You are fighting an organized war
Cyber criminal organizations are well-structured. They are built to look like legitimate businesses and are run by skilled individuals. Like any business, cyber criminal organizations react quickly to new opportunities and are capable of bringing in specialists if they need talent they don’t have in-house.
All is fair in love and war
Many cyber criminals operate out of countries with weak cyber laws and enforcement, so don’t expect any justice if your company is attacked. Chances are you will never find the criminals, and if you do, there is little that can be done.
Educating management and employees on the “enemy” is a crucial part of your job as an IT professional. People will follow safety protocol more closely if they understand the reality of the threat; real cyber criminals are not like what we see in the movies. They are people who are willing to attack anyone to make a profit.