0 Comments |  Technology |  PRINT | 

Where are you hiding the keys to your digital house?

Thursday, 20 February 2014 | By Taskmaster

When it comes to online security and protecting intellectual property, one of the worst habits out there is a practice known by security experts as “security through obscurity”.


Security through obscurity is when there are known problems with a particular security scheme, and website owners depend on people not finding out about those problems for protection.


To use a metaphor, it’s like keeping a spare house key under a pot plant and then hoping no one finds out about it, in order to stay secure.


Of course, it’s fairly self-evident that there’s a big security vulnerability in leaving a spare key under a pot plant. Namely, as soon as anyone finds out about the spare key or looks under the pot plant for whatever reason, the whole security system protecting your house is fundamentally broken.


And if the gardener starts prattling on at the local pub about the key they found when they accidentally moved the potted rhododendrons and bonsai ferns, you might as well just leave your front door unlocked. You wouldn’t be any less secure, that’s for sure!


Keeping a key under the pot plant is certainly not something one would do if maximising security is a concern. So it’s astonishing that so many website owners, content creators, app developers and small businesses are doing the exact same thing online.


Instead of using good quality digital locks and holding on to the key securely, they opt to just keep their digital keys under the pot plants. They hope no hackers or 12-year-olds come poking around.


Their security depends on the gardener keeping his bloody mouth shut after a couple of lagers!


In short, any sense of security is a fool’s paradise!


Worse, if you’re developing an app, run a website containing sensitive information (such as customer credit details or addresses) or have commercially sensitive information on an internal website, the bad guys aren’t just looking for a TV or a guitar to hock. A break-in will mean the very customer trust your business is built on is eroded.


So Old Taskmaster says this: Hire an online security consultant. Get them to take a look at your online assets and assess for any risks.


Because on the internet, it’s inevitable the bad guys will be taking a peek under your pot plants. So make sure you don’t have the house keys there!


Get it done – today!