Cybersecurity – Protecting vital information management systems

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Just three years ago, a British man was caught and charged for hacking into multiple US Government computers. Fast forward to today, he is facing three separate trials and up to 99 years in prison. Being a hacker is not a skillset that people have normally advertised.  Until now.
The breach in security was a wakeup call for the government to take greater preventative measures. In efforts to protect their data from hackers, the US Department of Defense’s Defense Digital Services (DDS) decided to have hackers work for them.
A “bug bounty” cybersecurity initiative called Hack the Pentagon ran for just under a month and invited hackers during that time to take their best shot in hacking five of their public-facing websites. They were rewarded from $100 all the way up to $15,000 for finding vulnerabilities.
The results? It was a success. The first vulnerability was reported 13 minutes after the program officially launched and 200 reports 6 hours later.
After great success in the Pentagon, the US Government has expanded the “bug bounty” program to the US Army called Hack the U.S. Army. Describing the logic behind the program, Army Secretary Eric Fanning expressed that no matter how well trained the US Army security team is, adding more eyes to the problem can be beneficial in assuring the security of their information.
“We’re not agile enough to keep up with a number of things that are happening in the tech world and in other places outside the Department of Defense,” Fanning explained. “We’re looking for new ways of doing business.”
In today’s business climate, great importance is placed on the preservation of data security when information is being stored or shared. Many businesses believe their data is best protected in-house, but at what cost? The answer may not be to start a “bug bounty” program but maybe outsourcing to a professional whose expertise is the management and protection of your information. And don’t just take their word for it. Search for one that has a strong reputation for maintaining and protecting mission critical systems. And in the event of an unforeseen disaster, be sure they have recovery services that can restore the data within minutes.
There are many hackers in the world with different purposes. One may be in it for the money or just the joy of being able to hack into a system.  With the New Year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your current data security protocols and strategize a better solution. As Fanning said, we are in a world where technology is advancing every day. If you are not agile enough to keep up with the new technology then you leave yourself vulnerable to a security breach.


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