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August 25, 2015

Is It Time to Let Companies Fight Back Against Cybercrime?

Right now, the majority of U.S. organizations are sitting ducks for cyberattacks because they are inadequately protected from online threats.

What we’ve seen so far this year is that organizations of all types are being targeted—from healthcare companies like Anthem to pharmacy chains like CVS to government and academic institutions such as the IRS, and, most recently, the University of Connecticut’s school of Engineering.

It's a growing problem that has led some national security experts to call for advanced methods of preventing cyberattacks before they occur.

For instance, Juan Zarate—who previously served as national security advisor for counterterrorism under President George W. Bush—is calling for a plan that would allow the U.S. government to grant corporations private licenses that would give them better means of protecting their networks and retaliating against cyberattacks. As explained in a recent PC World article, the plan would essentially deputize U.S. businesses, enabling them to destroy stolen information and even unleash cyberwarfare on their own.

Is this the right decision to make at this juncture? It’s difficult to say.

On one hand, something needs to be done to better protect vulnerable U.S. businesses from the onslaught of cyberattacks. According to PC World, cyberattacks are unleashed every few days. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; in reality, the threat is much more severe, as many networks are already laden with dormant malware which could be deployed at any given time—in some cases, without any sign.

On the other hand, deputizing U.S. businesses to legally unleash cyberwarfare could exacerbate the situation by escalating tensions with international hacker groups and world governments. While it may deter some hackers from unleashing cyberattacks on major U.S. corporations who could potentially hack back in return, the plan could also have potentially dangerous ramifications.

Here’s what you can do for your business right now to protect itself: Make sure your network is safe from unauthorized intruders. Invest in a managed services provider like Apex Technology Services of Norwalk, Connecticut, which can fortify your network with around-the-clock monitoring and security updates. After all, a hacker can’t gain entry into your network if you close all of the backdoor vulnerabilities.  

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