Defending Your Internet Infrastructure

    Internet as infrastructure.

    Do you consider the internet as part of your networking infrastructure? If you don’t, maybe it is about time to start, especially when you are looking at cybersecurity.

    That was the topic addressed by Kyle York, vice president of business and product strategy with Oracle Dyn, as a keynote address at McAfee’s MPower conference this week.

    It makes sense when you consider how much we depend on the internet and websites for, well, just about everything business related, as well as personal interactions. As York pointed out, the internet was not built for the way we use it today (kind of like many of the devices in the Internet of Things). For example, in 1995, we spent an average of 30 minutes online; today, the average person spends a third of their waking life online. Now think about what websites looked like in 1995 (back when everything looked like Craig’s List – lots of straightforward text, maybe a random graphic) and compare that to your company’s website today.

    Like other segments of data infrastructure, the internet itself is under attack, but we aren’t taking these attacks seriously. York cited a study that was released two months after the Mirai botnet put Dyn on the map (and not in a good way). While the vast majority of companies admitted they had painful or crippling attacks to their internet infrastructure, only 43 percent said they weren’t concerned of such an attack happening again.

    But can you really afford that? York said to think of all the things your website does and the role it plays in your organization’s business. Do your customers turn to your website for business transactions or to interact with your services? What happens, then, if you are hit with a DDoS attack?

    The time has come to start thinking about your internet infrastructure security as you do your network or mobile security. Have you ever done a security audit of your website to see where vulnerabilities might lie or how outside parties are interacting with the site?

    Keeping your website and your internet live and running is essential to your business health, York told the crowd, for the following reasons:

    • User experience suffers.
    • Your organization’s reputation is at stake.
    • Down time is expensive.

    Internet volatility is unpredictable, and your customers are relying on you to be available. So what are you doing to be prepared for a potential attack? How well does your internet infrastructure security compare to your network security or other security policies?

    Sue Marquette Poremba has been writing about network security since 2008. In addition to her coverage of security issues for IT Business Edge, her security articles have been published at various sites such as Forbes, Midsize Insider and Tom’s Guide. You can reach Sue via Twitter: @sueporemba

    Sue Poremba
    Sue Poremba
    Sue Poremba is freelance writer based on Central PA. She's been writing about cybersecurity and technology trends since 2008.

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