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.
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.