Cyber Security and the Elusive Gordian Knot
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In ancient Greece, there was a myth. Midas, the son of King Gordias, tied an ox-cart to a post with a series of knots so intricate that no person alive would ever be able to untie it. For centuries, the knot remained unsolved. It became known as the Gordian Knot. An oracle at Telmissus declared that the first person to successfully loosen the knot would come to rule all of Asia. Centuries later, a young Alexander the Great, came to Telmissus. He reasoned that the oracle had not said how the knot was to be defeated and he raised his sword and sliced the Gordian Knot in two. Alexander went on to become a great conqueror and grew the empire to cover all of Asia.
In the modern age of enhanced cyber threats, computer viruses, and weekly data breaches, cyber security experts have been searching for an unhackable solution to the myriad dangers that surround our data. They are, in essence, looking for that mythical knot that cannot be untied. It seemed, after the rise and ebb of the Y2K bug in 2000, that we were entering an age where the Gordian Knot for cyber security might be within our grasp. Disappointingly, while an army of experts creates more intricate encryptions with each passing year, there is also an army of Alexanders who come brandishing their cyber swords to break them.
Into the Breach! The modern onslaught of cybercriminals
This is not your mother’s internet. In its early days, the internet was easily hacked by the few who spoke its language. The threat was small, however, as criminals require victims, and back then the World Wide Web was…well hardly being used worldwide. Those were indeed simpler times. Eventually, websites that companies had once used as glorified business cards grew to encompass crucial infrastructure for their day-to-day operations. The internet quickly became an ocean filled with bait and it did not take long for the sharks to ascend from the depths of the Dark Web.
Denial of Service Attacks, phishing scams, worms, and viruses have flooded servers everywhere looking to scrape valuable data to be sold on the black market to the highest bidder. These days, it would seem that the ancient Greeks were not the only people who understood the calamitous power of a Trojan Horse.
If the knot can be broken, why tie it at all?
While the Gordian Knot of cyber security has yet to be realized, there are still other knots to be tied. Even though there are sophisticated criminals that are capable of breaching the stoutest firewall, many employ far more primitive techniques to achieve their aim. For this reason, webmasters must employ every defense in their armory in an endless effort to mitigate risk.
Captcha is dead.
We are all familiar with Google’s once excellent stalwart, the Captcha verification device. It began with scrambled letters that were nearly impossible for humans and bots alike to solve. It evolved into an endless parade of clickable images and the age-old question, “Are you a robot?”. Captcha allowed us to have public contact forms free of bot spam and malicious cross-site scripting hacks for over a decade.
Sadly, those days are gone.
While Captcha will still keep crude hackers at bay, more and more we are seeing the iron gates of our contact forms simply ignored by advanced bot mechanics. Our inboxes are regularly visited by unwanted actors the world over.
Long Live Captcha.
The fact that Google’s proprietary bot blocker has not been able to keep up with the endless assault is not a reason to abandon it completely. Cybersecurity must fight fire with fire. Hackers employ every possible tool at their disposal to siphon our data. It is imperative that we respond in kind. While Captcha is not perfect, it is one more tool to stop a handful of today’s threats. Webmasters today must use every available defense to mitigate the risks. In a war of attrition, we must never tire of trying and always employ the kevlar vest alongside the chainmail armor.
Never, never, never, give up.
We must embrace a Churchillian Doctrine in order to confront the cyber security threats of today. This all-hands-on-deck approach is the bridge between the occasional breach today and the impossible knot of tomorrow. Your client’s data is worth the most valiant effort your company can muster. Apis Productions takes your data seriously. We stand alongside you in this fight. We process security threats as they happen on all of our accounts and we provide a security package as part of our hosting plans. We tie the first knot. However, as threats continue to increase, we are aware that we must tie more and more. This is why we now offer an enhanced security package for our clients who want the most robust protection available.
A series of intricate knots: Apis Enhanced Security Package
- DDOS mitigation through Cloudflare
- DDOS attacks can bring your server to a crawl. DDOS mitigation stops the attacks before they can succeed
- 2-factor authentication
- Prevents unauthorized access and mitigates damage from phishing scams
- Security Lockouts
- Shields your site from repeated attacks at the login level
- Brute Force Protection
- Protects against a hacker using a program to guess login credentials
- Monthly File Optimization
- Prevents malicious bots from guessing their way past your home page
- Unique Login Page for Admins
- Secures privileges on your site by restricting access to the back end
- 24/7 Threat Monitoring
- Monthly security maintenance oversight combined with daily threat data analysis to stay ahead of emerging risks
Becoming Alexander the Great
Sometimes, the best offense is a solid defense. Perhaps the knot is not our security protocols, but the hacker’s evolving tools. At some point, our protocols will become the sword that breaks the cycle of breach, rinse, repeat. There are leading-edge technologies maturing before our eyes today from 2 and 3-factor authentication to blockchain systems that may finally see the world free from compromised data. Until this day, we must tighten our hold on the data we can control and never run from the fight.