Who is Winning the Cyber Security War?

Ivan Mauger Internet Security blogSpyware, Trojans, malware, and more are top of mind to business Internet and home Internet users. With these nasty software applications making the headlines worldwide on almost a weekly basis we now are starting to see how sophisticated hackers have become over the years. Add terrorist attacks such as the one targeting Sony from North Korea and you got a whole new type of cyber-attack. Given the prominent headlines afforded these criminals is easy to see why there is a growing perception that the criminals are winning the cyber security war. This simply isn't the case.


As it is not reasonable to expect local police to prevent or eradicate all crime in an area is also not reasonable to expect Internet security experts to prevent all hack attempts. The police help to control crime, and stay vigilant in the face of danger but they're not the ultimate solution. This is also true of Internet security software and personnel. They can't prevent all crime but they can prevent most of it, and reduce the negative effects of crimes that do occur.


If you compare the small number of truly successful attacks that have occurred to the millions that are attempted and stopped you would see that security software and personnel are actually doing a fantastic job in both an enterprise and home level. It's just that the failed attempts don't make headlines, they simply appear in logs that are saved and filed away on millions of computers around the world. The cyber security war is not only being won by the good guys, it's been won by a wide margin.


This is not to say that there are no risks posed to families organizations when it comes to a data breach. These attacks can cost a pretty penny and even cause irreparable damages. And given the sheer number of attacks this can be a cause for alarm. For example in 2010 Symantec blocked 3.1 billion attacks. That was four years ago, so you can imagine sense cyber criminality has grown with the expansion of the Internet that this has more than likely doubled.


Each day over 150,000 malicious files are detected and logged. That is approaching 5 million each month and the struggle to stop malware and spyware authors is constant and ongoing. This again mirrors the overall fight against crime but the police are waging daily. The simply no way it's ever going to stop, but we must grow and adapt in order to control it as best we can.


Of all of the attacks that are occurring minute by minute, about half are being stopped by technologies such as intrusion prevention, and endpoint security software. These usually incorporate simple firewall technologies that use a database growing malware files to check and scan against. This is not rocket science compared to some of the security out there, but it does show that by using just a simple preventive measure billions of attacks are immediately removed. However as hackers evolve so much security measures.


Homes and organizations must move quickly and easily to update their networks with whatever the latest operating systems and application patches are available. Companies do not release software patches in order to be annoying, remember regardless of what you're paying them these patches cost them money. They will not release them unless they have to, and the reason they have to is these patches are usually designed to plug holes of been identified in past versions of the software. In order to prevent future hacks these holes are being filled and you are being requested to download the patch or to protect yourself. Although this can be an annoyance it is also a necessity.