October’s DDoS attack on Dyn was a major statement to the world, a statement that many of us have known and worried about for years: that the public internet is an extremely vulnerable realm, where a single attack, if executed in the right way, can disrupt millions of lives and livelihoods. That’s exactly what happened with the Dyn attack, and anyone who thinks that’s the last attack of that scale or success needs to pull their head out of the sand.
Consider the revelations that Google publicly disclosed a Windows vulnerability, not only 10 days after it was discovered, but during which time they knew it was being actively exploited. That’s 10 days where the public was putting themselves at risk of being attacked or infiltrated by someone over the internet, with Google well aware of the risk all along. Even more troubling is that despite the 10-day gap between discovery and disclosure, Microsoft still hadn’t made a security patch available for correcting this problem.
Both of these disturbing stories hit at the three major pillars of data: Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. This “CIA” is fundamental to a secure, reliable and functioning public internet – and it’s failing us right now.
The Internet Under Assault
Those two incidents are barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to threats posed against the internet’s data CIA. We’ve seen scores of cyberattacks breach, disrupt or shut down enterprises operating over the public internet over the last several years.
Many of those major data breach headlines that you’ve seen in the news – from health insurance providers and political campaigns to Weebly and Yahoo – are aimed at the “C” and “I” of the acronym. In other words, attacks that successfully break down the confidentiality and integrity of any given enterprise or vendor’s data security, leaving it compromised and in the hands of malicious third parties.
DDoS attacks like the one that slammed Dyn in October hit at the “A,” making services that should be readily accessible – and in some cases, that may be business-critical – suddenly unavailable and unusable. We saw firsthand how widespread and damaging a single DDoS can be, but just as troubling is the idea that even the threat of disrupting internet traffic with a cyberattack can force potential victims to pay up.
The Digital Wild West
For years, we were accustomed to thinking of the internet as a libertarian utopia, free from oversight and otherwise “normal” restraints, where users had the utmost freedom to see and do what they want. Now, we’re seeing that freedom and lawlessness come back around in the worst possible way, making the internet into a digital wild west. Hackers and other malicious cyber actors have declared open season on anyone and everyone living on the internet – attacking any enterprise, SaaS provider or cloud platform’s data CIA for profit, politics or even just for fun.
The public internet’s data CIA has never been more in peril and vulnerable than it is today. It’s time that enterprises realize that relying on the internet for their mission-critical services or relationships is a recipe for disaster just waiting to happen. Instead, we need to look to secure, high-speed, consistent services that work around this cyber minefield.
Console is a single-click interconnection platform that does just that. With more than 170 POPs in 20 countries around the world, Console enables enterprises, SaaS vendors, cloud platforms, data center providers and network service providers to set up quick and easy private direct connections with each other. These reliable, high-speed, secure interconnections live outside of the public internet, circumventing all of its risks and disruptions.