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Lessons from the Sony Hack

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Sony Pictures has been plagued by a massive computer security breach for weeks now, and the problems don't seem to be going away anytime soon. As alarming and problematic as this cyber attack have been, what does it mean for everyone else?

The first thing to know is that the capabilities of this attack are nothing new.  Hackers have, for decades, been able to take over computers and steal or destroy data using malware.  It's true that this attack employed some pretty sophisticated malware, but what really sets this cyber attack apart is the aggressiveness of it.  Hackers are usually content to simply steal data, but in this case, the data was stolen and released to the public and hard drives were destroyed.

While investigators were quick to react to the issue, a lot of damage might have been mitigated if the malware had been detected earlier.  Despite such a huge increase of corporate hacking in the past year or so, many companies are still relatively lax in their IT security.  Companies need to start being more proactive than reactive to hacks.  In the case of Sony Pictures, some of the security gaps appear to possibly been around for more than a year.  Investments should be made in not just programs, but people and company policies, to look for risks and minimize damages.

If a small or medium sized company doesn't have the budget to employ a full-time staff, they should consider IT companies with a proven track record of helping computer and network security, such as Petronella Technology Group.  Whatever business owners decide to do, they need to get rid of the "it couldn't happen to us" mindset and plan for when, not if, a potentially crippling cyber attack will take place.