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<a href="/news/dont-ignore-the-most-valuable-lesson-of-the-sony-hack" title="Don't Ignore the Most Valuable Lesson of the Sony Hack">Don't Ignore the Most Valuable Lesson of the Sony Hack</a>
Posted on: 08 Jan 2015 

Posted By: IT Wiser

Don't Ignore the Most Valuable Lesson of the Sony Hack


Sony chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai took some time at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to address the devastating cyber-attack that crippled his company and prevented the timely release of Sony's controversial film, The Interview. In his remarks, Hirai made it abundantly clear that he is not concerned about a significant negative financial impact as a result of the hack. He believes the company will be just fine. However, is he missing the most important lesson to be learned here? Possibly. 

When news of the hack first surfaced, the news media were all over it like hungry lions hunting prey on the African plain. The theme among media outlets was nearly universal: those responsible for the hack were after financial gain. IT Wiser, on the other hand, put forth the possibility that the entire episode was nothing more than large-scale cyber blackmail. It turns out we were right. The Sony hack had nothing to do with achieving a financial windfall by stealing sensitive information. It had everything to do with the North Korean government threatening Sony to prevent the release of The Interview. Sony capitulated, even if only temporarily. 

The lesson to be learned here is that IT security goes far beyond just maintaining company financials. Yes, there are entire cadres of hackers from Eastern Europe attempting to hack into worldwide computer systems for the purposes of stealing as much money as possible. Nevertheless, they are not the only ones working the networks. There are government hackers spying on other countries, corporate hackers looking to steal the secrets of rivals, and political activists hacking into computer networks in an attempt to shut down companies they do not like. There are even terrorists now looking at computer network vulnerabilities as a means of attacking their enemies. 

If there were ever a time when IT security demanded the full attention of company executives, it is now. Companies of every size need to put forth every possible effort to make sure their networks are as secure as they can possibly be at all times. Doing so will require a significant financial investment as well as a willingness among the executive staff to treat IT security as one of the most pressing priorities on the annual agenda. 

Software and Hardware Solutions 

Exactly how hackers got into the Sony system is still being investigated. However, some reports suggest that a group of hackers concentrating on disrupting the gaming network shared illegally obtained user names and passwords with the group claiming responsibility for the November hack, Guardians of Peace. There is obviously more to it than that, but a company unable to safeguard the user names and passwords of customers is one that is unlikely to be able to guard against more sophisticated attacks targeting highly sensitive information. 

For most companies, protecting IT security is a matter of applying the correct software and hardware solutions alongside experienced and talented security specialists capable of staying on top of things. As we said earlier, this will require a significant financial investment in some cases. Such investments include both human and non-human resources. 

IT Wiser offers a wide range of IT services, including cloud mail and web security. Our security solutions may be just what you need to make your network as secure as it can be. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your security needs in order to find solutions that are right for you. Contact us for more information.

The Register