A series of cyber attacks attributed to the Hermit Kingdom also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korean (DPRK) and more commonly called North Korea, has caused Sony Pictures to cancel the release of their new ‘comedy’ “The Interview”. The film is based on a fictional scenario wherein the CIA recruits an American TV personality to kill the ruler of North Korea.
The first major film to satirize North Korea was the 2004 puppet film, “Team America: World Police” which was created by the team that created the cartoon South Park and more recently the hit Broadway show, “Book of Mormon”.
The Cyber attack and threats of physical violence against theaters were of such a major concern that theaters decided not to show the feature and Sony in turn decided to cancel the premiere. The Washington Post among others reported that the FBI was “blaming the Stalinist government for an intrusion that exposed corporate e-mails, wiped out computer data and underlined the cyber capabilities of one of the United States’ top adversaries.”
What does all this mean to you?
Threats are an every day part of life and you have to deal with them. Some threats require more serious consideration and more security than others. Organizations should apply risk-based analysis to each unique situation. This means that organizations should not necessarily cringe and cave in to every threat.
Here are a few of the key lessons to be learned from this most recent cyber attack:
- If your organization provokes adversaries they can resort to cyber attacks against you.
- The more powerful the adversary, the more technical resources they have at their disposal and the greater the likelihood of harm.
- Information security measures are a part of the cost of doing business. The higher your risk of attack, the better your cyber security needs to be.
- Threats of physical violence or harm to property must be taken seriously and organizations should not hesitate to beef up their security capabilities quickly and decisively.
While threats should not be ignored, they should not stop an organization from continuing on with its operations. Prudent analysis combined with judicious increases in security can be employed to insure that the business can continue without interruption or harm.
As President Obama said at his press conference: ““We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” nor should we have to conduct business under a cloud of threats from those who do not agree with us”.