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The Real Value of IT Security Training

IT Security TrainingDon’t be fooled by the typical Hollywood portrayal of IT security. Even among professionals, there exist common misconceptions about the role that security plays and why it’s necessary. While it’s certainly true that hackers are capable of stealing your valuable business data, the idea that they have to go to great lengths to do so is just television’s way of making the concept more exciting for viewers.

In reality, many hacks and exploits are made possible by oversights in your implementation of security standards. It’s critical that you invest in IT security training that teaches you how to recognize these.

What Is an Exploit?

People don’t usually have to dig deep to access information they shouldn’t possess. A good example of this occurred with the dark net market known as The Silk Road. This underground marketplace served as a major gathering point for the sale of illegal substances, and it employed extremely strict security standards that even included masking the actual nature and location of the site’s servers via the Dark Net.

Although The Silk Road couldn’t even be accessed with a normal web browser, recent data released by the law enforcement agencies that cracked it revealed that basic flaws inherent in the CAPTCHA system used for identity verification were exposing the location of the servers. In essence, agents didn’t even have to do any hacking to find out information they wanted to know and bring the site down.

While your business may operate on more clear legal grounds, it’s worth noting that CAPTCHA and similar technologies are commonly employed on login pages at numerous sites. It may be that your design includes exploits you weren’t even aware of, and although hacking forensics is a valuable recovery tool after the fact, it’s better to shore up your defenses in advance.

Why Exploits and Hacks Hit So Hard

One of the other risks of bad security standards is that you never know how long they’ve been compromising your information. For instance, the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug that made major news in 2014 was a known problem for years.

The Heartbleed flaw, which allowed people to steal information readily by taking advantage of a few lines of code, was well-documented, but the compromised technologies were nonetheless used by hundreds of huge firms. Because OpenSSL is a free library, it made its way into thousands of third-party applications and code bases that were then used by entities like Google, Microsoft, the DOD and others.

This is another instance of how you might be using compromised technologies without even knowing it. Unfortunately, the speed at which useful technologies are adopted often outpaces the capabilities of their original creators, so it’s entirely possible to adopt bad methodologies as you grow.

How Training Makes a Difference

In most cases, it’s impossible to achieve flawless security. Unless you’re building your own servers and operating systems from the ground up, no matter what you do, you’ll have to rely on another’s work at some point. It pays to implement strategies that help you identify potential problems and create more robust security practices.

Ashford Global IT consultants have devised the ultimate IT security training regimens for firms that want to keep their data and their consumers safe. Contact them today to learn more about the benefits of security training.


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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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