The New #1 Cyber Security Threat

Student Editorial

Starting off on a quick personal note, I will be graduating this May with my degree in Cyber Forensics and Information Security.  Robert Morris University has provided more knowledge for me than I ever thought possible.  With regard to cyber security, I have learned that the number one threat / weakness is user error.  Uneducated people can cause more damage in the blink of an eye than almost any other weakness.  That being said, I have discovered that this is almost common knowledge now, even among non IT people.  Organizations have gone to great lengths to educate employees to prevent attacks.  Perhaps, the number one threat has changed because of this.

When a user sits down at a machine, what is the first thing that they do?  They open up a web browser of their choice and check their email, and often times social media as well.  These web applications are used billions of times a day by billions of people.  If a hacker wants to gain information from a company, planting a bug on these web applications is quite possibly the best way to go.  In this case, educating people can only do so much.  If you tell employees to not check their Facebook, how long before they break that rule?   So the next logical question becomes, why are these web applications so vulnerable?

The biggest reason is that they were not created with security in mind.  The world wide web was created with the idea that it would be a place to openly share ideas and information across the globe in an instant.  Security would defeat this original purpose.  The founders never could have imagined what their creation would become.  It is because of this that web applications have become the number one threat to companies today.  Hopefully those of us who are graduating in a few weeks will someday be able to make a difference in the cyber future.

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