Are international crises posing a threat to databases?

Are international crises posing a threat to databases?

Aug 8, 2014


Databases could be under threat from malicious cyber attacks carried out by activists involved in international crises.

Professional services firm KPMG said disputes overseas could spill over into the business domain, as hackers try to disrupt organizations' core IT systems in order to send a political message.

Malcolm Marshall, UK and global lead in KPMG's cyber security practice, said the business community has faced a number of incidents over the last five years where websites are targeted for such purposes. 

"Cyber attacks are becoming part of international conflict and it seems that probing cyber attacks are likely to be the first phase in the hostile phase of future conflicts," he explained.

"After all, the ability to disrupt electronic trade, divert funds, or overload IT systems so that transactions cannot be completed, can have an effect that goes far beyond the geographies where disputes are raging."

Mr Marshall said that while enterprises should avoid panicking, it is important to put in place protocols that help them deal with cyber security breaches.

Many companies develop comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plans to overcome incidents that would otherwise adversely affect business continuity.

Some of these measures include real-time replication techniques for databases, extensive back-up and storage of essential data and regular DR procedure testing.

"Businesses need to be ready to defend themselves, as the cyberspace in which they operate increasingly becomes the new battleground," Mr Marshall stated.

His comments followed recent research by Lieberman Software Corporation, which highlighted inefficiencies in password management practices, leaving many companies open to cyber attacks. 

The survey found more than half (53 per cent) of organizations only changed log-in details once every quarter, while 8 per cent admitted never doing so. 

Philip Lieberman, president of the Lieberman Software Corporation, told Information Age the results showed a "very lax approach" to the security of vital service accounts.

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