Monday, June 11, 2018

Guess who?

I am sure that when you were a kid, you must have played the famous ‘Guess Who’ over a million times, the game in which you had to try and guess the character your rival was hiding. Through some questions you had to eliminate options till you hit the nail on the head. In the world of cybersecurity, games do not exist. Every single attack has an origin and a cyber attacker behind, which in this case, cannot be found through some simple questions. Behind every cyber attack there is an executor, but what if the origins came from a State?

Every important cyberattack is followed by the question of ‘who is behind this? ‘what they want to achieve?’, and most importantly, whether the attack is sponsored by any state or nation. This states, such as Russia, China, or North Korea, are usually the principal suspects of these attacks. But, is the idea of cyber attacks being sponsored by the states too exaggerated?

James Silence, systems engineering general manager of Juniper Network,  gives his point of view about how Australia and New Zealand are affected by these attacks, and about how his company can contribute to the global Cybersecurity Tech Account. ‘’Australia and New Zealand are very digitally connected. We rely heavily on that interconnectedness and we live in affluent countries. They make us ripe as prey for cyber predators’’.

Recently, the participation of Russians on attacks sponsored by the state has been widely discussed, especially in Australia and New Zealand. Russia is forefront in everybody’s mind right now with events in the US and UK. One thing that’s obvious from what we’ve observed in the US is that attribution for any cyber attack is very difficult, costly and time-consuming.

Even if at first the attribution of these attacks might seem the most significant thing, according to Sillence there is a more important fact: ‘’The most important this is to understand how an attack is produced and use the information to feed the learning based on machines and strengthen its security.

The government of New Zealand is considering all possible threats that could affect the country through its strategy of cybernetic security, and this will imply the collaboration of some agencies in order to protect the nation from state-sponsored attacks.  Sillence says that any government or private organization should continuously revise its security system. He also says that it is good to see that New Zealand is adopting the right focus for this inspection. Other countries are serving as an inspiration for all this process, as James explains: “The review is also using like-minded countries as a source of information as well. A lot of best practices are being conducted around the globe. Countries like Australia, Canada, and Singapore are great exemplars of what best practices look like.”

In this word full of masked cyber attacks, it is really difficult to get to know your enemy. When complete states or nations are involved in this cyberwar, we leave the games aside in order to begin a new hand in which, the loser, could be the final user. 


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