A pragmatic, visionary perspective —–
Most people are worried about their credit cards being stolen, but more ominous problems with cyber attacks are being aimed at other parts of a corporation including tampering with facilities and manufacturing processes, stealing Intellectual Property (IP), and changing formulas and processing around so that it is next to impossible to revert back to the original systems and procedures. Corporate cyber-sabotage could be used by rival companies, foreign governments, or just cyber-anarchists who want to punish a corporation for their products or political stances.
HACKERS’ GOAL: SHUT DOWN THEIR PRODUCTION LINE
Just think if a huge company like GM, Caterpillar, or Ford got hit with a cyber attack focused on all the robotic systems in their assembly lines. Talk about getting “held up”, what if the systems were put in “Lock Down” mode? Or all the parameters set on various robotic tools like saws, drills, and welding machines got fed different information and coordinates which would render any type of production to zero output.
What if it was in a multi-staged attack where you first shut everything down, but then re-programmed the robots and automated machining so that when they were brought back up from a “disaster recovery mode” status to an “active status”, they would all have faulty, re-calibrated information in their cutting and manufacturing procedures? How easy would that be to unravel and fix all those changes and recalibrate all the robots so they were performing the right movements at the right time? Are corporate back-up systems as good as their executive staffs think they are?
Damaging a competitor’s core business may be a goal of a rival company or a rogue nation. It doesn’t matter who is initiating
the attack. What matters is, do you have the safeguards in place before the Tsunami of system failures hits your organization?
This isn’t a story line for a Die Hard movie anymore. It is reality and you can see governments getting into this as a form of electronic warfare and cyber retaliation.
Most CEOs may think about the possibilities of a cyber attack, but when they are asked for capital to harden facilities or hire qualified personnel who can safeguard resources, they don’t see the expenditure being necessary, especially if they are anticipating some big bonus. Cost-cutting executives and their organizations are the perfect target for these cyber criminals. If the cyber criminal knows the CEO is too cheap to approve monies for security, then it’s “easy pickings”.
This could happen and this is why more corporations needs to be aware of these more strategic approaches to corporate cyber-sabotage
Stealing credit card information is just the tip of the iceberg. Stopping an organization dead in its tracks because their electronic systems that manage and motivate the manufacturing process, is a much loftier goal.
CARLINI-ISM: Just when you thought you fixed one digital problem, another comes crawling up electronically.
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Copyright 2014 – James Carlini