Hacking is an entirely commonplace practice these days, even though it does seem to come as a surprise when it happens. Some film portrayals of hackers show grand data centers with flashing lights and typists furiously clicking away, obtaining entrance to secure government files. However, many hackers don't need highly sophisticated software to gain access to any number of locations.
Here's a statistic: 21 million. What is that in reference to? That's how many people have been affected by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management data breach.
Regular readers of this blog are very familiar with the database vulnerability problems that IT professionals are facing around the world, seemingly on a daily basis. And though these individuals and their colleagues work tirelessly to find holes and create solutions, hackers still have many opportunities to find ways into secure databases and cause quite a panic.
By the end of this year, 2015 may be known as "The year of all the data breaches." It seems as though every week holds a new security flaw and news that more information has been compromised or exploited. The month of June saw announcements of many unfortunate breaches, though the attacks themselves took place before summer.
It can be difficult to get a security breach under control. Once the problem is at a manageable level, it's important to check what other areas need servicing. Hopefully the incident was just caused by the single vulnerability, but chances are there will be more to follow. That seems to be the nature of technology, first one thing and then inevitably another comes along. This certainly appears to be the case for the United States' databases, and specifically the ones in the Office of Personnel Management, as another vulnerability was found in the database.
Irony is a funny thing. Some people look at irony and think that the world is taking at a jab at them, made for a sort of cosmic laugh. For others, they shrug it it off and chalk it up as a part of life. When irony does rear its head, it's always fascinating to see how it happened and how we could potentially avoid it next time.
If someone gets seriously injured or falls ill, how long should they wait to go to the hospital? For most, if not all, respondents, the answer would be "immediately." When there is a problem that can be fixed to prevent any further damage, it should be remedied as soon as possible. And if this is the case, why would enterprises wait to fix vulnerabilities within their database? For whatever reason, it appears that many companies identify vulnerabilities, yet fail to do anything about them for a long time. Why do enterprises fail to patch the holes in the databases when they could be infiltrated and exploited at any moment?
The reliance on technology in the business world is a double-edged sword. On one hand, new IT systems such as big data analytics and upgraded environments such as SQL Server 2014 allow businesses to improve their employees' productivity, optimize the value of information and transform fundamental elements of operations.