Evolving Network Security Threats

Information technology evolves at an astonishing rate. Within the new millennium we have seen the internet become a full-fledged presence in nearly every person’s life, have seen mobile technologies redefine our relationships with machines, and have seen the rise of amazing distributed and web-oriented ideas such as cloud computing. With this evolution, however, have come new avenues for attack by malicious hackers that any network security specialist must be aware of. Here are profiles of some of the newer threats that we face in our increasingly wired world.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
Though DDoS attacks are not particularly new, the rapid expansion of computing technology to more users and growing number of connected devices, including mobile, have created greater opportunities for hackers to succeed with this threat. At the basic level it involves using malicious software to infect machines, usually numbering in the thousands, and having those machines send requests to a server that overwhelm it.

Kinetic Attack
Traditionally we think of online attacks as targeting only privacy, information, or being performed just for the sake of cruel malevolence. These are classified as “non-kinetic.” However, with hostile governments and unscrupulous agencies turning to advanced cyber-warfare, many of these attacks are becoming “kinetic,” meaning that they can cause damage to automated machinery and physical systems in order to do massive harm, including being a threat to human safety.

Offensive Forensics
When we think of forensics we think of crime-scene investigation and handling of evidence using sophisticated techniques and technology. While law enforcement and government agencies use digital forensics in much the same way, malicious offensive forensics is an application of this principle to the file systems, techniques, and configurations of the target system. It is used to not only compromise the target but to gain knowledge of counter-measures.

Any modern network security solution needs to not only be aware of existing cyber threats, but must be able to adapt to new ones.