Whenever a cyber attack occurs, the finger is usually pointed at a single compromised computer or a careless user unwittingly opening up their machine to hackers.
However, a big problem facing all organisations today is the complexity of IT systems. It is the underlying reason why hackers are let through and data is lost, sometimes without even the victims knowing.
For someone defending against an attack, you have to get your house in order all the time, but the hacker only has to find a single loophole.
Complex systems proving problematic
Today, this is the impossible task for administrators of complex systems made up of multiple layers of IT equipment, software and processes. It has become too difficult to cut through the complexity.
This has not been helped in recent years by the push to open up cloud resources to users in a large enterprise, whenever they need them.
While some organisations have used the migration to the cloud as an opportunity to streamline their systems, many already have years of “dark data” and forgotten systems still stored somewhere online. Forgotten.
Challenge is likely to increase
The challenge will get tougher in the years ahead, when the number of connected devices will increase, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Already, there have been concerns over the lack of standards that are making these devices hard to secure on a large scale. Yet, the problem persists because of the added costs for additional security features.
Another issue is the lack of updates for IoT devices over time. Smart door locks are only beginning to offer patches for vulnerabilities and many connected sensors today are still not plugged into a gateway that at least checks that they are not spoofed or hacked.
Add these devices to an expanding IT system and it is clear that the headaches for IT administrators will grow. The same issue of complexity will worsen.