Lights Out: A Battery-Powered Radio is Not Enough

July 22, 2016

Imagine a world plunged into darkness. There is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration, and food and medical supplies are dwindling. Looting is widespread, and people are becoming desperate…

In the New York Times Bestselling Book Lights Out, author and journalist Ted Koppel takes an in-depth look at the very real possibility of a cyberattack in the United States. Koppel describes a scenario where a laptop becomes a weapon of mass destruction when one of the nation’s three electrical power grids is hacked, plunging our world into darkness for weeks, or even months. Lights Out reads as a sci-fi novel; but the truth is, until our present situation changes, this story could become our reality at any moment. The government of the United States is prepared for almost any form of natural disaster, but in the case of a cyberattack, the only advice given by the secretary of Homeland Security has been for people to keep a battery-powered radio.

It may seem like the idea of potential cyberterrorism is a distant hypothetical, but on December 23, 2015 a cyberattack on an electrical grid actually did happen in the Ukraine. The attack knocked out electricity for hundreds of thousands of people, as well as internal systems designed to help restore power. Even call centers used to report outages were down. The Ukraine cyberattack exposed the vulnerabilities in the US power grid to this very real threat.

The outcome of a cyberattack can be devastating on many different industries. In the energy industry, hundreds of thousands of people are effected by a blackout, as a ripple effect of failing services spreads throughout a region. In the manufacturing industry, financial records and employee files are especially susceptible. In finance, where there is already heightened security, hackers have met the increased precautions with more complicated approaches.

All businesses must face the threat of cyberattacks, and not just the large scale corporations. Many target small to midsized organizations - hackers assume these companies are more vulnerable, with access that is less guarded. And these days, having Antivirus software and IT security is not enough; those committing cyberattacks have simply become too skilled, and the current approaches are insufficient. To protect themselves against a security breach, companies now must employ a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that actively investigates any potential 3rd party activity in their systems, identifies an organization’s most valuable data, bridges IT and OT systems, and integrates cyber defense into every facet of the company.

But what about in your business? Can you safely say that your organization’s critical infrastructure is secure? If given the task of hacking into your own system, as an outsider, could you?

Cyberattacks are on the rise, a literally no system is safe. From nationwide electrical grids, to our trusted IoT devices, to our companies and livelihoods, cybersecurity should be a concern for all. To avoid a potential attack, Nation-E offers a comprehensive solution at the forefront of cyber defense to provide maximum security at an affordable price. Schedule a demo today for a risk assessment of your company assets and real time threat isolation: http://www.nation-e.com/Contact_Us#Schedule_A_Demo