The Future of Internet Security

As we discussed in class, hacking can be a serious problem. One person or a small group of people can attack and entire company to steal information about the company or its customers. This can be very costly for a company. However, it is still extremely hard to prevent a hacking. Companies would have to spend millions of dollars to protect themselves completely, which is worth more than what they are protecting. Also, hackers only need to find one weak spot to gain entrance. This can be in the computer program or the people working the computers. The company would have to ensure that its entire protection is sound, which is much more difficult.

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The company CloudFlare has introduced a new type of cyber security. CloudFlare has combined crowdsourcing with internet security to try and make the internet a safer place. With traditional security systems, if one customer is attacked, none of the other customers have any knowledge about the attack. CloudFlare crowdsources its security so that if one of its customers is hacked, the information about the techniques or programs used in the attack are sent to CloudFlare. This allows CloudFlare to upgrade its security for all of its other customers so that the same attack cannot be used again.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CloudFlare’s CEO explained the benefits of his company. By crowdsourcing internet security, CloudFlare is “constantly learning” from attacks on CloudFlare’s one million customers. This is an advantage over other security systems that have to be uploaded as software. These other systems stay the same until a new version comes out. A hacker could find out how to circumnavigate the system to attack a company. Once this first hacker does this, anyone else could attack a company with the same security by using the same method. This cannot happen with a company using CloudFlare. An attack will only work once before CloudFlare eliminates the weak spot.

I think crowdsourcing is a very effective way to improve internet security and will be the future for internet security. It will save companies millions of dollars by quickly eliminating weaknesses in security systems. It will also force hackers to develop new ways to hack into a company’s computers instead of reusing old techniques. This should greatly decrease the number of successful attacks on companies.

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8 thoughts on “The Future of Internet Security

  1. I completely agree with your point that crowd sourcing of cybersecurity might be the future of internet security. This really changes the equation of ROI for both companies trying to protect themselves as well as cyber criminals trying to hack into company information. For companies, cybersecurity becoming cheaper makes it more realistic and available. For cyber criminals, if CloudFlare is successful, being able to use each hack method only once makes cyber crimes a lot less profitable.

    I also wonder how network effects may play a role for a company like CloudFlare. As more and more people join CloudFlare, CloudFlare has more and more potential victims of attacks, and thus can eliminate more and more holes in security. As their system becomes more secure, more users are likely to join and take advantage of the security they provide. This is a very nice and relevant post.

  2. This is a great article. I had never thought of crowdsourcing as an effective method of internet security. It covers many more bases than traditional internet security. The way it is taking advantage of the many different angles that hackers could use is revolutionary. Overall, a very informative and helpful article.

  3. I really like this blog post. CloudFlare sounds like a very interesting company that has brought crowdsourcing to a whole new level. This relates to what we said in class about setting up the IT Platform initially, and then running with all of the countless innovations for it. Crowdsourcing to help with resolving Internet hacking is a great idea and it shows just one of the many ways crowdsourcing can benefit the community, both on and offline. Great post!

  4. Good post, Brian! CloudFare seems like a really smart company to be trying to stay ahead of the game and being one step ahead of hackers. It is really scary thinking that hackers have such easy access to hacking websites and social media accounts. However, it is comforting to know that some companies are working to clean this up. It would be interesting for them to employ hackers themselves, and have them think up new innovative ways they would hack a site just in order for them to be able to prevent future attacks as well. Hopefully this company can work to completely wipe out all hacking attacks in the future!

  5. I completely agree that crowdsourcing security seems to be a very effective way to combat security problems. The rate at which the CloudFlare can update its security will most likely be faster than the rate at which new hackers will be able to devise new plans on how to hack the system. Thus, weak points will be eliminated exponentially in a system like CloudFlare. I believe most companies will soon be implementing CloudFlare or other crowdsourcing systems like it.

  6. This is another very interesting and innovative way that crowdsourcing is being utilized to better the web. It’s unfortunate that the program can only prevent the attack only after that attack has occurred at least once. However, CloudFlare is at least trying out new methods to prevents hackers, a bunch that probably won’t let up anytime in the near future.

  7. Great blog post! It reminded be of how Zara uses data to improve its merchandise. Technology, just like fashion, moves at an incredible fast pace. Hence, viruses and hacking also improve rapidly. CloudFlare has found a solution to decrease the gap between hacking and protection. I am sure that this program will generate a big obstacle for hackers in the next few years.

  8. Interesting post, very relevant. I think the issue of big data is really key here, and has some very beneficial externalities. Hopefully CloudFare will provide a way for security to work fast and effectively, Additionally, as John pointed out above, CloudFare has the possibility to make hacking less profitable to criminals. I’ll be interested to see where this goes in the future. Thanks for sharing1

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