SolarWinds is an American IT management software company based out of Austin in Texas. The organization develops software that helps companies manage their business networks, systems, and overall IT infrastructure. Despite being an enterprise that makes software for security systems, they encountered a security breach in their system in 2020.
Close to 18,000 customers of SolarWinds were affected by this breach. SunSport was a widely used malicious malware that was deployed exclusively in the SolarWind network. The malware modified the build process of the SolarWinds’ Orion application entirely, which created a way to insert Sunburst (Solorigate) malware into the company’s IT inventory management system. The top priority for an IT management software firm should be cybersecurity, and even though they had taken precautionary measures, their software still managed to get compromised and hacked.
This proves that hackers can hack their way into the software to steal data, valuable information, and shut down company systems. One may wonder how it became possible for the hacker to hack into the software and clear through the security systems in place at SolarWinds. The answer is relatively simple. The Orion application’s design mistook the malicious code as a legitimate code and then proceeded to push the updates presented by Solorigate to all the customers who were using SolarWinds’ IT management system.
Hackers have one goal in mind, which is to compromise the primary system. This goal requires all their effort to ensure its success in bringing down the network system. An effective way to safeguard against the loss of data is to create backups. So, even if the system gets compromised, business operations can continue without a hitch. A business continuity plan in place for any organization can ensure the business keeps running in case of an attack.
Most companies already have a budget for cybersecurity where they invest in software to safeguard their organization’s assets and prevent any form of cyberattacks. However, its unfortunate for company whom purchases the cybersecurity product and get compromised due to a cyberattack. The incident is bound to create doubts for organizations when investing in third party software and personnel to safeguard their network systems.
The SolarWinds hacking incident resulted in the leak of sensitive information and data. It is natural for security officers and higher management team members to question whether to either implement security systems or employ an in-house security team to protect their data. Cybersecurity has risen to the forefront of organizational security regardless of a company’s size or strength. The implementation of network and system security is essential to companies because it is concerned with sensitive data, personal information of employees and clients, and government and industry information.
Cybersecurity measures ensure that all this information is protected against various malware attack such as, Denial of Service, and any other threats that could hamper business operations. Cybersecurity has become a standard part of company operations because it acts as the first layer of defence in the digital world against malicious attacks. It is expensive to maintain and stay updated on the latest threats, regardless of if the company chooses to have an in-house team or a third party application.
There can still be some risks that can materialize into the company’s digital assets getting compromised, but it is a good measure for businesses to invest in implementing a thorough cybersecurity program. In case of an attack, at least the enterprise has a defence layer to protect their sensitive information instead of not having any form of protection, resulting in loss of all assets. Despite the doubts against cybersecurity tools’ proficiency, it is better to have some measures instead of none. Adopting cybersecurity solutions may not be a guaranteed foolproof solution, but it is a necessary precautionary measure that businesses need to exercise and do their due diligence.
This situation can be compared to keeping a lock on the main door of one’s house. The lock will not guarantee that there will never be a break-in, but it can protect the home against most thieves and robbers from letting them break in and steal all the house owner’s valuable assets. So, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and cybersecurity acts as a safety net against most attacks, if not all.