Tech Talk: Attacking to Defend

CHARLESTON,SC (WCBD) — From self driving cars to smart homes, technological growth is affecting households and businesses alike. Is that digital presence leaving us vulnerable to attack, or are hackers just getting smarter?

At Black Lantern, an internet security company in Charleston County, thinking like a hacker is how they keep others safe. Their policy, attack to defend, is designed to hack businesses to show them how an attack could affect them.

“I think the attackers are evolving and getting smarter which is part of the challenge of this job,” says Phillip Hartlieb, founder of Black Lantern. “”attack organizations, systems, applications and people using tactics techniques and procedures that a real life bad guy would use.”

Hartlieb thought of the strategy after seeing the words posted on a military plaque.

“The point is to have them see an attack before a real bad guy shows up because the defenders in the organization will just be far better prepared”

The Financial Times reports that 86 percent of companies reported being hacked in 2017. Harlieb says many companies put their trust in systems that the bad guys know better.

“If you don’t understand what you have deployed, and you don’t understand how your business depends on that technology, you are fundamentally vulnerable.”

He says the same can be said for the home, which sees an increasing amount of new technology, but is often unsecure. While he admits he doesn’t have the end all answer, he says it will start with society recognizing the danger that exists and preparing for it.

“There has to be an inflection point with tech where people see and understand the risk and make a fundamental change in their behavior,” Hartlieb says. Adding that it should be reflexive,”to the point that it is no longer up for debate.”

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