Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vulnerable fortresses

These stunning glass fortresses seem impregnable, but the truth is that the greatest threats for them are not at their door but on the Internet. Therefore, cyber security has become mandatory for any organization, regardless if it is settled on the top floor of the tallest skyscraper in the city.

An online business not protecting its computer systems, is like a jewelry without a security door to prevent theft. In some cases, it could even lead to its permanent closure, as it happened to HotelHippo booking website. The website suffered a number of serious security issues that left the personal details of 24 customers exposed. In this situation, its owners decided to shutter their business and not reopen it.

But if there is one place in the world where skyscrapers sprout like mushrooms, this is Dubai, one of the seven emirates of UAE. In that country, the number of electronic crimes increased by 88% in 2013 compared to 2012. Given this fact, computer systems protection should be there as impressive as the architectural works that draw the emirate’s skyline.

By the way, the picture you can see along with this article was not taken in Dubai, but in Madrid. If we come to Spain and look at the "Study on Information Security and eTrust in Spanish households" by INTECO and ONTSI, we will see how 81.2% of surveyed users have an antivirus and 77.1% of them also have a firewall installed in their devices as security measure. That is a no surprising figure since 3 out of 4 suffered a security problem in the last three months.

Therefore, you can never let your guard down. Cybercriminals are becoming more imaginative when carrying out their criminal activities. Some used the incident starred by Uruguayan soccer player Luis Alberto Suarez in the World Cup to collect users’ personal data through a false request on which they alleged encouraged FIFA to reconsider the suspension imposed on the player. Others might use gadgets such as Google Glass to record your hand’s movements while using your mobile phone, tablet or computer and thereby find out what your passwords and login credentials for different services are, as proved by researchers at the University of Massachusetts.

Pedophiles are also very creative in hiding the storage devices where they keep child pornography. But the Rhode Island Police in U.S. has found a way to search their homes without overlooking any hard drive or flash memory. They trained a dog named Thoreau which is able to sniff up a pendrive in a tin hidden in a metal cabinet.

What about you? How do you deal with cyber threats? A good beginning is to keep yourself well-informed, so we invite you to follow us on any of our social channels (find the links at the right sidebar) or here on our blog.


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