Why Sensitive Systems Should Never Be Able To Connect To The Internet

The internet is indeed useful for many things. I think at this point we are all able to acknowledge that simple fact. While it is debatable that the internet is one of the most important inventions of all time, it is up there and something that the creators of it should be proud of. But after this short time of the internet being used in our daily lives some of us have grown to depend on it a little too much. Even people who could not imagine a system like the internet when they younger now have a hard time of imagining being without it. That is why sometimes we tend to do stupid stuff when it comes to the internet.

sensitive-systems

Some of the stupid stuff that we do on the internet is to put things on there that do not belong there. The internet is a public system and that means that anyone with a connection has the potential to reach any part of it. Sure there are parts of the internet that are walled off but these connections can be bypassed by someone who knows what they are doing. There is no system yet that has been determined to be unbreakable that is hooked up to the internet. While your bank has very serious security measures in place to keep the bad guys out of your money they would never claim that no one is able to bypass their security. That would be a lie. All they can do is to promise to do the best that they can and hope that they can recover your money back if it is stolen.

But you have systems out there that are more sensitive than even a bank. While the bank holds your money there are systems out there that control how the electricity flows to your town. And there are other sensitive systems out there that control how the sewer treatment plant is run every day. And there are even other systems out there that control whether the nuclear weapons that are underground will be shot off at anytime. These are serious systems that have to be heavily regulated and that means that there are a lot of exceptional rules that go along with them. And one of the main rules that should go along with all systems like this is that they should not be connecting to the internet.

And yet so many of these systems are. There is some power companies which have parts of their system connected to the internet. They do not realize that the bad guys are able to use the part that is connected to the internet to be able to infiltrate the parts that are not connected. This is especially true if they are on the same network. There are mistakes made all of the time in companies like this. There are employees who are careless when it comes to what systems should be protected and how much power a black hat hacker really haves. If you look at the situation in Iran, their nuclear facilities were not connected to the internet but yet somehow a hacker was still able to hurt their systems.

The internet is a great tool but not everything belongs on it. From your private pictures from college to a water plant somewhere down in Iowa, make sure that anything that is not supposed to be connected to the internet is not.

photo: ell brown

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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