How a Twitter Attack Emphasized the Benefits of Digital Asset Protection

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 18th May 2021

There’s no question about it. We are in a digital world. Think about one day when you need not use your PC or smartphone, and you know you might as well be on vacation. The problem is many entrepreneurs don’t think much about digital asset protection, an oversight that has cost companies as much as $200,000 on average. Losing that amount of money may not frighten big corporations, but it’s enough to get small businesses on their knees. Indeed, as these attacks transpired, many have folded.

Even the biggest companies can be rattled with the most vicious of these cyberattacks-the case of Twitter, one of the most influential social media in the whole wide world. Started by Jack Dorsey in 1996, the microblogging social networking site that started as a podcasting company is home to over 120 million users worldwide. It’s not as big as Facebook, but it can certainly command an army. Yet, with all the technical smarts Twitter had, you wouldn’t think that a 17-year-old hacker can best it. But it happened.

Lucky for you, digital asset protection isn’t new. It has been used extensively by many corporations before to thwart and minimize cyberattacks. In this regard, a lowdown should get you started. Here’s one.

Twitter Downed by 17-year-old Hacker

Let’s face it. It’s easier to destroy things than to build them. But that should be a dire warning for you. That’s the problem with digital assets. They could be accessible via the internet.

To start, a digital asset is any digitally stored content (e.g., cloud, hard drive) that an enterprise or an individual owns. Concrete examples of digital assets include your login passwords, company emails, email lists, and all those files you stored online about your operation and your clients.

As digital assets have to be kept for the smooth running of a company, it’s a target for unscrupulous individuals. In July 2020, for instance, the Twitter accounts of the most influential people of the land, from Barack Obama to Bill Gates to Elon Musk, were hijacked. The accounts were made to send a tweet that seeks Bitcoin donations. Donors who donated $1,000 within 30 minutes would have their money doubled.

It was social engineering at its most devious. To stop the nightmarish security breach, Twitter had to shut down all verified accounts. When the dust settled, a total of $120,000 changed hands. Three suspects were arrested by month’s end, including a 17-year-old from Tampa named Graham Ivan Clark.It could have been worse.

Keeping Your Digital Assets Safe

The best way to start protecting your assets is with your people. Missteps by your people can let scammers into your system. So it’s paramount you conduct training by subject matter experts to thwart such advance.

Twitter hacking is a glorious example. The hackers called the social media’s tech customer service and tricked them into logging into a phishing site where needed data and passwords, multi-factor authentications including were made available.

For one, employees who have access to company networks via their personal devices such as smartphones could make you vulnerable. Malware from infected devices could invade your system without you knowing it.

That’s why it’s always best to protect your digital assets with copyrights and patents right from the start. As much as possible, ownership must be established via written communication so no tug of war between interested parties. Take note that digital assets can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Additionally, insurance can be a huge factor in protecting your digital assets. Indeed, data isn’t as quantifiable as a real estate property, but it works in similar ways. For instance, while a mobile home insurance policy can cover valuable items stolen from your mobile home by burglars and thieves, cyber liability coverage can protect you against the attacks of cybercriminals on your digital assets.

Moreover, it’s actually a cat-and-mouse game. Ensuring your digital assets are secure isn’t a one-day job that gets done then and there. Rather, it’s an evolving one that you must review every so often. As you improve your security protocols to protect your data, hackers are also studying ways to go over these security measures, improving their skills as they go along.

It’s important then that you have a thorough assessment of your security protocols. There’s no such thing as a perfect system. Limiting access points can go a long way to deny cybercriminals the entry point to your digital treasure.

Thus, you must do a regular review of your digital asset protection now and update your antivirus software. Moreover, backing up of data must always be observed so your operations won’t shut down when a data breach happens.

Thieves who find a target house too challenging are bound to back down. The same is true with your digital assets. If you surround it with ample protection, it won’t become low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals. You should enjoy brisk business now more than ever.

Categories: Tech