Information Technology Security
Information technology security is always going to be a hot topic when you’re pursuing an Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree in Information Technology, or any type of information security degree for obvious reasons. The problem with the industry today is the ever-evolving threat posed by hackers and other malicious individuals. As knowledge grows, so do defense techniques for information security.
As those techniques evolve, the methods of the attack become more sophisticated, so what are the real threats to information security today? What will you be learning about as you undertake information technology security certification courses? There are quite a few things, so let’s go ahead and talk about the five major threats you’ll face as an information technology security officer in 2018.
Small Time Schemes/Cons
There is a common misconception that all hackers are the ‘big bad corporate level hackers’ that are out to get you. Trust us, while there are some highly organized circles out there, it’s not all a massive conspiracy. Most hackers hide in their houses or apartments trying to pull off small-time get-rich-quick schemes. They are only after one thing: your hard-earned money. They perform fraudulent credit card transactions and they perform other unsightly tasks, such as money laundering.
These small-time criminals are not hard to find; you might run across them anywhere whether they’re offering public bulletin boards, 24/7 phone support, bidding forums, or even anti-malware services. They seem legit when taken at face value, but you will find they are anything but that as you work with them or as they affect you.
Activists – a 21st Century Problem
Most hackers try to remain silent about their exploits as it is viewed as much more of a crime now. Hacktivists seem to be the exception to the rule. Take the group Anonymous as your example; they’re out there, loud and proud, taking extreme measures to promote their cause. This isn’t much different from the early days, however, as we’ve seen politically motivated hackers since the art was developed. Something to keep in mind is that in most cases, hacktivism is intended to cause monetary pain, so financial institutions will need to be especially wary.
Intellectual Property Theft
Security professionals will often have to deal with groups of malicious hackers who completely intend to steal intellectual property. There is also the threat of corporate espionage, so do keep that in mind. Their usual method of operation is to break into the company’s assets, dump passwords, and steal confidential information.
This can include product ideas, patents, financial information, business plans, and much more. Ultimately, the goal of these hackers will be to stay in the company’s network as long as possible and to gather as much intelligence as they can. As an information security expert, your job will be to stop them.
Bringing on the Malware
This is an interesting threat as it is comprised of groups of people who design the malware. These programmers do not necessarily commit cybercrimes, but they do provide the means for other people to do so. There are now entire teams dedicated to designing custom malware, made to eliminate or bypass some of the toughest security measures on the market.
Botnets – A Paid Service
You don’t need to be able to program to create a botnet – not anymore. Today, botnet owners will be able to rent out the service to others by the hour or using another payment plan, essentially turning anyone into an aspiring hacker.
The world is becoming more and more complicated right before our eyes, and it should be of no surprise to anyone that we need new, highly experienced cyber security experts to ward off the threats.
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