Cyber Threats: The Cast of Characters

Just like an action packed movie, the world of cyber security is filled with a cast of characters who battle one another in a fight of good versus evil. In this article, we breakdown the most common actors in the constant battle for cyber security:

The Cyber Threats

A) The Prankster: In it for the “lolz,” the Prankster hacks networks for fun, bragging rights, or just the pure challenge.

B) The Disgruntled Employee: What makes an insider threat such as a disgruntled employee so dangerous is they already possess access to network resources or physical infrastructure. The threats posed by disgruntled employees vary from stealing company data to pouring coffee on a server rack.

C) Cyber Criminal: Cyber criminals vary in sophistication however they all share a common goal: to make money.  They fund their criminal enterprises from stealing credit card information, infecting computers for a ransom (ransomware), and selling stolen data.

D) Cyber Terrorists: Seek to instill fear into a population to drive support for their ideology. Cyber terrorist aim to infiltrate and disrupt critical infrastructure and industrial control systems.

E) The Cyber Soldier: State sponsored cyber warriors usually engage in cyber warfare in support of the national security and foreign policy objectives of their nation. Usually well funded, these groups call upon a wide variety of cyber weapons especially zero day exploits or threats which were previously unknown until deployed.

The Cyber Protectors

A) The User: The user represents your organizations frontline against cyber threats. It is up to the user to decide against opening a suspicious attachment which made it through your spam filer or using a secure password for accounts. A strong outreach program and cyber awareness training could transform your users from a cybersecurity liability into an asset.

B) The Technician: As your organization’s computer guru, the technician can spot potential breaches and cyber threats that the user may not even be aware of, such as adware, Shadow IT, and phishing attacks. The technician performs security patches and mitigates malicious viruses on workstations.

C) White Hat Hacker: Experts who employ their knowledge of hacking for good, White Hat Hackers are hired to test the security of networks and applications.  If a vulnerability is found, they work with the organization to fix it.

D) Chief Information Security Officer: Partners with organizational leaders to design, implement, and manage an information security program.

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