With the current push towards Cloud based services, the Internet of Things and Big Data, individuals and businesses are increasingly vulnerable. As a result, cybersecurity is a rapidly growing global industry and necessarily an area of continual innovation.
Back in 1988 the first computer virus to be given mainstream attention was released: the Morris Worm. It hadn’t been written with any particularly malicious commands but due to the rate at which it replicated and spread it was highly disruptive, and the way it worked inspired future spammers and malware writers. Fast forward to the present day and the increasing interconnectivity of tech we rely on can be manipulated with terrifying results.
Cybersecurity researchers recently hacked into the on-board system of a Chrysler 2014 Jeep Cherokee, while it was being driven. They were able to make it break, accelerate and turn, remotely, leaving the driver powerless inside the vehicle.
They unveiled this along with numerous other automotive security concerns at the Black Hat event held in Las Vegas earlier this month; the event will be coming to London this November. This high-profile information security conference is attended by government officials, cybersecurity companies and hackers. It’s aimed at educating attendees on the latest Black Hat methods and how to be protected from these, while also promoting collaboration between world class researchers and tech companies to this end.
Black Hat, Grey Hat, White Hat
This is an allusion to old western films in which villains wear black hats and heroes wear white ones; they are terms used to describe hackers and their methods. Hackers that break the law for personal gain are Black Hat, while those that use their skills finding faults in security systems and understanding Black Hat methods so as to prevent them are White Hat. Then there are those who aren’t out to cause harm, but their methods aren’t strictly above board either – they are described as Grey Hat. However questionable their methods may be, hackers perform an important role in the development of new cybersecurity tools and products.
Financial security in cybersecurity
Globally businesses that are involved in cybersecurity have experienced remarkable growth in the last few years and this is expected to continue to rocket, with the industry looking set to remain an attractive investment opportunity for the foreseeable future.
For further financial security, UK limited companies involved in the resolution of cybersecurity issues are a great example of Research and Development activity, as outlined and rewarded through the R&D Tax Relief Scheme. The problem solving and advances in overall understanding in technology that comes as a result of the digital cat and mouse games engaged in by cybersecurity companies is a perfect example of qualifying activity. A successful claim can mean up to 33% cash back on eligible expenditure. If this could be applicable to your company, or a company you’re affiliated with, seek advice from an R&D specialist.
Anything that furthers innovation in this sector is good news. As our tech evolution pushes us towards a digitally interconnected world, the Internet of Things (IoT), the majority of us have less and less understanding of the workings of the technology we rely on day to day. This provides opportunities for those with a greater understanding of how it all works to take advantage, or to develop ways to protect us from those who might.
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