Hacker danger obscured but still present

Hacker danger obscured but still present

What initially seemed like a serious few months for hacks carried out by the vaguely defined group Anonymous may have been nothing of the sort, with the recent attacks coming under scrutiny. Before breathing a sigh of relief and reducing IT security budgets, however, executives should consider the severe consequences of a successful hack, the threat of which is still very much present.

GoDaddy goes down

The recent downtime at domain host GoDaddy demonstrated both the possible fade of Anonymous and the dire consequences of an infrastructure failure. The web services provider lost connection to its DNS servers, leaving subscriber sites unreachable by web browsers. Though a hacker associated with Anonymous initially claimed the downtime was due to a hack, InformationWeek reported that GoDaddy has issued a statement attributing the incident to an internal technical issue.

One effect of the GoDaddy failure and the surrounding media coverage is a new view into how serious large-scale hacks can be. According to InformationWeek, companies using the impacted hosting services lost business during the downtime, some in huge quantities. The web host was forced to issue an apology. The current IT climate contains hackers of all stripes, capable of causing server downtime. This incident proves how much damage an attack can do, even if this particular instance was not intentionally done.

Small companies especially vulnerable

Online giants with a large number of interconnected systems are not the only likely targets for cyberattacks. Small companies can also find themselves under attack and, according to a recent Heart Internet survey, some firms in that bracket may be completely unprepared to fight hackers. The source reported that 14 percent of small business leaders confessed that their websites are not protected by any systems at all. The availability of managed security services means companies of all descriptions can protect themselves.