Cyber Security and the US Presidential Election

Every week seems to bring a new story of cyber-crime against some of the biggest global brands. Sony, Yahoo, Twitter - the list is endless. And over the past few months, the US presidential elections have come into the cross-hairs of unscrupulous hackers.

The stories that don't make the news, however, are the countless attacks against SMEs which are occurring with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, SMEs don't have the same resources or budget as the US political parties, and so are less able to protect themselves from malicious threats.

If you think your business is protected, consider this; in the past few months alone, hackers have reportedly breached not only the Democratic National Committee, but have also infiltrated at least two state election databases.

The FBI has traced the attacks to eight IP addresses, which appear to be hosted from companies based in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Russia. What’s unclear is whether or not these hacking attacks are connected to the recent influx of attacks against political groups.

With the hack of the DNC, there are hushed whispers and many outspoken “professionals” on social media that claim hackers may influence this year’s presidential election. In fact, the United States has recently pointed the finger at Russia as the perpetrator of the DNC hack.

These events just go to show that even big targets don’t have the systems in place to protect their infrastructures from cyber threats. If major political entities and systems can fall victim to a cyber attack, what does that say about your business’s infrastructure? Even small targets hold information that could potentially be very valuable to any hacker - as we have seen with the recent ransomware attacks on SMEs.