The Web Security Beast

By Jason Friedlander, Director of Product Marketing

It was quite a week to start researching the tangled world of cyber security, as news of one of the biggest cyberattacks broke. The Equifax data breach is definitely the hottest news buzzing around the water cooler in the past few days, with over 44% of the US population being affected. If you still haven’t found out if you’ve been affected, you can find out how to check out your status here.

We’re used to hearing about cyberattacks or web attacks on large scaled organizations. In fact, the US Air Force estimated that there are more than 1 million cyber attacks on its network per day in 2016. The Russian campaign hit 39 states in the 2016 presidential elections, but there are countless smaller attacks happening every minute of everyday. Our Edgecast CDN knocks down hundreds of DDOS attacks every week alone.

“White-hat hackers” (the good ones are called hackers too) are trying to beef up security- with coalitions being formed with the intent of creating a hack proof operating system. Even Europe has taken measures to beef up their security, setting up a new agency that will block again the 4,000 ransomware attacks per day that continent experiences. But, Equifax is unique because rarely do we experience attacks at such scale and on a personal level, leaving many wondering, how did this happen? Am I at risk?

With so many companies now built to run in the cloud and rely on third-party vendors for pieces of their software stack and infrastructure needs, security is an ever-evolving need. Companies have to build trust when it comes to the vendors and tools they use each day and put the right pieces in place to protect their products and services to build that trust with the consumer.

The problem is that web security is a beast of its own; many aren’t sure how to best protect themselves against hackers from which these types of attacks can be devastatingly hard to recover. However, in doing research for my hosting duties, I uncovered that there are a lot of things any organization can do that can prevent these kinds of attacks from happening.

  1. Update your systems regularly
    Part of what makes the Equifax hack so frustrating to many (other than the obvious reasons) is that, arguably, it was avoidable. Hackers exploited a two-month-old flaw in Equifax’s web systems to steal millions of customers’ private data, the firm revealed. According to the Apache Foundation, which oversees the widely-used open source software, “The Equifax data compromise was due to (Equifax’s) failure to install the security updates provided in a timely manner.” So learn from their mistakes! Monitoring your systems and updating them in a timely fashion is key to keeping your precious data out of hackers’ reach.

Formerly Verizon Media Platform, Edgecast enables companies to deliver high performance, secure digital experiences at scale worldwide.