If you have been watching the details of hacking attacks over the past couple of years, you should have noticed a disturbing trend. Attacks are shifting from mass destruction to maximum impact as their goal. Gone are the days where the majority of attacks would be focused on having global impacts but were relatively minor in severity. We're moving into an age where the primary goal is to cause catastrophic damage to a very small group or individual.
Motives are changing. The attacker profile is changing. More and more targets of hacking are not just getting caught up in the massive sweep of global attacks. They are becoming targeted victims. This means our risk assessment must change. No longer can we try to "fly under the radar" or assume our company isn't "big enough" to be a target. It also means we as individuals need to begin thinking about becoming a target as well. Every company, big and small, has competition or those who want to see it fail. Every individual has the potential to upset another and become the target of violence.
Are we ready for some of this animosity to be carried out via cybercrime? Are you uncomfortable right now? Are you worried about cybercrime in ways you might not have been 10 minutes ago? The key is not to be affraid, but to be informed and aware. Just as we're not paralyzed by the threat of physical crime, we can't be paralyzed by the threat of cybercrime. We do however need to be "street smart" and know the risks that cybercrime poses to our professional and personal lives. We need to understand the profile of hackers and their motives. When we understand the risks, we can better identify the appropriate precautions we need to take to protect ourselves and our companies.