Good Versus Evil in IT


Good versus evil.

It’s all too common. New technology is released as a useful tool for IT professionals and inevitably hackers learn how to use the tool for evil. In 1973 when data encryption became a useful tool it was adopted using the DES (Data Encryption Standard. As of 1997, the standard was changed to the more secure AES – Advanced Encryption Standard. The benefit is that users can encrypt their data, create a digital key, and use the key to access encrypted files. This protects their data from falling into the wrong hands. For example, encrypting an entire laptop would ensure that even if the laptop were stolen, data would be safe assuming the thief did not have the encryption key.

Unfortunately, this very helpful tool initially used to safeguard data, eventually became the choice utility for hackers and ransomware was born.

We are now seeing significant progress with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Again, this technology was initially developed to improve efficiencies and allow machines to do more of the work previously performed manually. This technology will save hours of work for humans in the future. Unfortunately, it is also capable of assisting hackers to efficiently launch attacks on our business networks. In other words, the tools that we continue to develop to assist legitimate operations are being employed to assist the bad guys.

This makes managing the security of your network even more challenging. But that’s the role of a managed service provider. Not only are we responsible for keeping the security and productivity tools functioning in your environment, but we must keep those tools continuously updated with the requisite security patches so that any attempts to use them in a nefarious way are thwarted. In addition, it is incumbent on us, your selected IT vendor, to watch these industry developments and be ready to change vendors or products based on the evolution of security threats.

Hackers continue to ply their trade because they are having success. More victims are added every day. To prevent your organization from joining this growing victim list, be sure that your IT support firm is providing you with a comprehensive, high-quality, ever-evolving support program. It’s the only way to combat this growing challenge.


Authored by Donald Nokes