As if cybercriminals' computer skills didn't make them crafty enough -- taking a page from IT organizations -- some hackers have upped their game by adding business acumen to their resumes. In this week's lead item, cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs sheds light on one of the latest ways hackers are attacking. Got some pesky competition you want to "disrupt"? A distributed denial-of-service attack can be purchased as a service (What chutzpah! ) via secure online payment.
As Krebs explained in eye-opening detail, paying hackers to carry out dirty deeds isn't entirely new. Such "services" were available in the past, but required some major digging in the Web's darker corners. The difference today is these hired guns are making it easier for customers to find them (and finding them, they are) by working out in the open -- even producing commercials.
It's another stark example of how the old ways of doing cybersecurity -- throw on a patch, check the logs -- no longer cut it. As former White House CIO and security expert Theresa Payton put it in a piece on cybersecurity published on SearchCIO this week, cybersecurity is a team effort that requires CIOs and CISOs to be ever-vigilant about monitoring the evolving threat landscape, sharing that knowledge with everyone from the C-suite on down, and training employees as needed. Cybercriminals so often control the game these days, but making sure your team is privy to their playbook will go a long way toward your defense.
Check out SearchCIO's own coverage of these topics
Mobility boom, uneducated workers intensify security threats
User-friendly data security measures for cloud and mobile reach
CIOs seeking soft skills to better align with the business
Some less unsettling items round out this week's Searchlight, including a look at a new app for the politically minded consumer, what you need to know about Google's latest offerings, why we need to start talking about our future robot co-workers and more.
- Some cybercriminals are now literally advertising disruptions they can (for a sum) inflict on businesses, leaving no excuse for slacking on cybersecurity training.
- Never be on the wrong side of an angry consumer, in this case, one toward the left of the political spectrum. A new mobile app that helps shoppers boycott companies by scanning products before purchase is doing a huge business.
- Despite the cute headline, robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh has some serious things to say about the effect robots could have on human employment. Bonus: The comments section is lively and interesting (in other words, very un-comment section-like).
- When Google adds cool new things, employees add those things to the devices they bring to work, in turn adding to the things that can cause headaches for IT: Here are five of them CIOs should know about.
- Sure she's adept with algorithms, but can she explain them in 1,000 words or less? Big data is creating a big demand for those ever-elusive soft skills.
- How is cloud computing still causing confusion in IT? Feast your eyes on the pretty pictures of this infographic to find out.
Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, features writer.