Friday, January 29, 2016

Hackers Take the Law Into Their Own Hands, Is This a Good Thing?

In 2015, we saw countless hacking attacks against major corporations, from health insurance providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Anthem, to government offices, like the United States Office of Personnel. Due to the stigma associated with hacking, we often forget that there are a lot of hackers out there who try to use their skills for good--or, at least, less awful purposes.
Vigilantism is a frowned-upon and dangerous practice. Even though it’s been immortalized and glorified by various superheroes, like Batman and the Green Arrow, it’s a slap in the face to the laws that govern the land. However, there are situations where it takes criminals to defeat criminals. Hackers who use their skills to take down other criminals might seem admirable, but it’s important to consider why society may benefit from their actions.
Authorities are having a hard time protecting people from the surge of questionable online activity, and the fact that the world has let the Internet become a place where the message of hatred, bigotry, and fear-mongering can reach the world’s population in unprecedented ways. On the other hand, whether or not the actions of hacktivists like Anonymous are right is up for debate. While they might not be attacking users for the sake of attacking them, they’re still performing illegal activity. This fact can’t be ignored. However, if their cyber attacks on terrorist groups and other dangerous entities can help to make the world a safer, less hate-filled place, we think that’s something that even the authorities can agree with.
Whether or not your business is the target of vigilante hacking groups like Anonymous might not be apparent, but we can assure you that there are plenty of bad hackers out there who would do anything to get ahold of your business’s private and sensitive information. Regardless of what type of hacker is targeting you, you need to be prepared with a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution designed to keep your business safe from all manners of threats. A UTM is a comprehensive security tool that combines enterprise-level firewalls and antivirus solutions with preventative measures, like spam-blocking and content-filtering solutions. The goal of a UTM is to limit your organization’s exposure to online threats as much as possible, reducing your chances of being targeted.
It should be mentioned, though, that no solution is perfect. Just like the world will always contain cruel and unusual entities, the Internet will spawn some vile threat that may one day seep between the cracks of your defenses. When that time comes, at least you’ll be ready.
What are your thoughts on the increased hacktivist activity? Do you think that what they’re doing is right, or should they be punished for breaking the law? Let us know in the comments. If you’d like any more information about UTMs and other security solutions, reach out to us at (732) 360-2999.

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